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Update of Humanitarian Situation in Northern Shan State

By The Joint Strategy Team for Humanitarian Response in Kachin & Northern Shan States  •  February 25, 2015

After the 1989 ceasefire agreement between the Myanamr Tatmadaw and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army ( MNDAA ), fresh fighting erupted on 9 February 2015 in the Kokang self-administered zone of northeast Shan State, Myanmar. Since 9th February, skirmishes between the aforementioned troops have been taking place in Laukkaing, Nyan Kwan, Taukshwe and Maw Htaik villages and reportedly said that there have been civilians and armed people casualties, but the number of civilians killed in the fighting is unconfirmed. In addition, according to the statement released by the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS), three civilians and one journalist were wounded while transporting the war affected civilians from Laukkaing to Chin Shwe Haw on 21st February.

As the result of fighting in the region, majority of the civilians have fled to and taken refuge at China, and it is estimated that approximately 30,000 to 40,000 people may be accommodating in the China while about 4,000 IDPs are taking shelter on the border of China and Myanmar. The number of people displaced across the border in China remains unconfirmed.  Approximately 10,000 civilians have fled and transited to Lashio and Mandalay. Among them, most of the people are reportedly migrant workers or civil servants and some of them have transited onto their areas of origin within the country. Majority of the IDPs who are fleeing to Lashio are being accommodated in Mansu monastery since 9th February 2015. In addition, over 2,000 government staff (including family members) have also transited through Lashio and received assistance from the government.

The humanitarian assistance is not accessible to the other parts of the conflicting areas by the humanitarian agencies due to unpredictable security situation. On the other hand, the humanitarian aids for the IDPs at Mansu monastery are being covered by local authorities, CSOs and MRCS but the humanitarian needs are not fully met yet.

On 21 February, a fighting took place near Munggu and Hpawng Seng areas of Bangsai Township in northern Shan state and approximately 700 villagers from had to run from their home villages. The IDPs were not allowed to cross China and are trapped between China boarder and fighting place. Due to security reason, transportation and necessary humanitarian aids are inaccessible to reach in those areas. However, local church leaders are accompanying the Internally Displaced People to escape from the conflict area.

At midnight on 24 February, fighting took place near Kutkai and the Government Army arrested 6 IDPs and voluntees from the Kutkai IDPs camps around noontime on 25 February. They have been released by late evening of the same day after  being closely pursued by local leaders and CSOs.

On 25 February, about 140 new IDPs arrived in Namjarap village of Thein Ni Township due to expending militarization and armed conflict in the area.

The major concerns for the IDPs and the civilians in the region are protection, safety and security. The humanitarian access and urgent life saving humanitarian response is also critical for the IDPs and civilians in conflict affected area in Northern Shan state.

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This post is in: Press Release

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