Inle Lake IDPs Must Return To Karenni State

By Network Media Group
Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Local government officials have ordered Karenni internally displaced persons (IDPs) who fled the fighting to return to their villages, although it’s not safe to go back to Karenni State.

“The Burma Army is launching a military operation in these areas and clashes are taking place, so I think these IDPs cannot return. I’m sure that’s the case for the villagers from Demawso Township,” an aid worker at Inle Lake told NMG.

The Burma Army (BA) has burnt down some of their homes and many haven’t cultivated their farms for the past year, which means they’ve nothing to return to, he explained. And the schools are closed, so the children cannot continue their education. At least in Inle Lake they can attend classes in the government schools.

Regardless of the difficulties they face, the General Administration Department for Nyaung Shwe Township has reportedly told them to go home by the end of the month while not offering any assistance.

More than 4,000 people have been sheltering in makeshift IDP camps in Buddhist monasteries, empty markets and with their relatives south of the lake since the beginning of the year, after fleeing BA offensives and fighting with Karenni resistance groups that began in Loikaw and later spread to the other townships. They’re being helped by the World Food Programme, International Committee of the Red Cross and Buddhist associations and private donors.