Civilians in Kachin State Uprooted By Fighting Between Military and KIO/A

By Network Media Group
Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Over 100 civilians were displaced by intense fighting between Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Burma Army in Kachin State.

KIA Battalion 4 (Brigade 1) battled with Burma Army IB-142 near the upper section of Myitsone, on the east side of the Irrawaddy River.

Seventy villagers from Tan Bawng and thirty-seven villagers from Gwi Htaw sought safety from the hostilities in Tan Hpre, according to a resident who’s helping them. All are staying at a Roman Catholic church located in the village about 20 miles from Kachin State’s capital city, Myitkyina.

Other villagers from Gwi Htawng, located in Njang Yang Township, are also fleeing fighting, the source told NMG. Residents said shells landed near their village but no-one was hurt.

Col Naw Bu, in charge of Kachin Independence Organization KIO’s information department, confirmed the fighting along the Myitsone, but didn’t have more information. He said earlier clashes broke out in Nam Sheng between Karmaing and Mogaung townships and at Sel Zin village.

“If fighting happens near a village, people will be displaced. However if it stops, I think they’ll be able to return to their homes,” he said.

Unfortunately for the villagers displaced by fighting, Burma Army’s Northern Regional Military Command is sending reinforcements to areas where the conflict is breaking out, according to Col Naw Bu.

Fighting between the armed groups in Kachin State, which started on March 11, has been happening every day. Clashes are also breaking out in northern Shan State.