The Burma Army stopped a Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) vehicle transporting medicine to internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Eastern Kachin State near the Chinese border and seized all the medicines on 25 August.
The vehicle was stopped on the Myitkyina-Lwal Jal Road by soldiers from the Burma Army military operations office in Sinlum Bum.
The KBC General Secretary, Reverend Hkalam Samson, said that the medicines seized by the army included anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics and children’s medicine.
After seizing the medicines the army told refugees in the border areas to come and collect the medicine from the Sinlum military operations office. So, the KBC picked up the medicines and took them back to Myitkyina on 2 September.
Reverend Samson said that The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) had donated over 10 million kyats (approx. $8,200) worth of medicines and charged KBC with delivering them to Pa Kahtawng, Zai Awng, and Masat Shadaw 6 and 8 IDP camps on the border with China.
The KBC has been providing aid to IDPs who are members of its organisation and at the start of August it also provided aid to IDPs in the Tanai Hukawng Valley.
Since fighting resumed between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in 2011 over 120,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Kachin State and northern Shan State. Most of them have been taking refuge on the Burmese side of the border with China.
Translated by Thida Linn
Edited in English by Mark Inkey for BNI