Newly displaced Palaung villagers need aid as fighting escalates in northern Shan State

  • Written by N.M.G
  • Published in N.M.G

Food, medicine and basic supplies are needed to assist more than 200 Palaung villagers who fled fighting in northern Shan State this week.

The displaced villagers are taking shelter at a monastery in Namtu township after clashes between the Tatmadaw and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army drove them from their homes on August 8.

“They have arrived in the rainy season without bedrolls. Food and medical treatment are needed,” said a local resident assisting the internally displaced persons (IDPs).

According to the TNLA’s News and Information Department, two skirmishes broke out between the TNLA and the Tatmadaw between Hkay Hkin and Man Loi villages in Namhsan township on August 8. Fighting also occurred around Myaing and Kyauk Phyu villages.

“The villagers grabbed their clothes and fled to Namtu immediately after the clashes ended,” said U Thein Zaw, an executive committee member of the Palaung Self-Administrative Zone. He added that the residents were afraid of being arrested and persecuted.

“After a skirmish took place last month, the Tatmadaw arrested and tortured [the residents] of Man Lan Village. The residents fled to Namtu as they were worried,” he said.

Roads through the Palaung Self-Administrative Zone to Manton have been blocked after a military convoy was attacked near the town on August 5.

U Thein Zaw said he plans to bring the road blockage up with the Shan State Minister of Security and Border Affairs as the issue has stranded some residents.

“Local residents who want to travel to Lashio and Mandalay can’t go. People who have arrived in Manton can’t go out of the town now. Residents of nearby villages had come to the town to buy groceries, but then couldn’t go back to their villages. They are currently staying at the monasteries,” he said.