Over a 1,000 Kachin war refugees flee from IDP camp

25 January 2018
Over a 1,000 Kachin war refugees flee from IDP camp
This photo is taken on January 21, 2017 shows a refugee family in front of their temporary shelter near Lung Byeng village, Waimaw township in Kachin state. Photo: Hkun Lat/AFP

Ndup Yang IDP camp In-charge said that about 1,000 war refugees and local people had to flee from their camp after heavy weapon shells hit the camp in Sumprabum Township, northern Kachin State.
Ndup Yang Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp In-charge Rev. Ban Seng said on January 23 in the evening about 400 war refugees from the camp and local people from nearby villages of Lord Mai Yang, N Thang Zup, Zup Yar, Samar Bum totaling over 1,000 people had to flee their homes and camp after artillery shells hit the camp on January 22.
He added that the war refugees and local people could not take any belongings with them when they fled from their homes and camp, and they only had insufficient relief supplies provided by Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) and Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) so they are now badly in need of rice and medicine. Some of them returned to their villages to take some belongings and food when the fighting subsided for a moment, he said.
“We have only 60 bags of rice in our hands now. All of them collectively prepare meals together here. The government has banned travelling on the waterway for two weeks. We grow mustard and lettuce for food in the camp, but we cannot reap them now as artillery shells fell on our kitchen garden and all of them have been damaged. Now we badly need rice and medicine for these people. Our current makeshift shelter is very close a to stream that it is too cold. The children are now suffering from a cough. We need blankets too,” he added.
Access to this Ndup Yang IDP camp and nearby villages is only available by waterway, but the government bans travelling by motorboats, so it is difficult to send food supplies to these people.
These war refugees have been in this Ndup Yang IDP camp since 2015, and they comprise 71 households with a total 439 people.