Kachin IDPs Flee Fighting in Southern Kachin and Northern Shan State

Fighting between KIA’s 27th Battalion troops and Burmese Army troops at Laika Hkyet on Sept 19 forced hundreds of Jesawn villagers to flee their homes to Mung Hkawng village in Mansi Township. Most IDPs are currently sheltering at a Kachin Baptist Church in Mung Hkawng village.   

About 300 villagers from Hpawng Seng village have fled renewed fighting in northern Shan State and currently sheltered at Pangwa village in China side of the border.  

A village elder from Hpai Kawng village, located between Mongkoe and Kyukok (Pangsai) in northern Shan State, said Chinese officials told his villagers that they can cross the border to flee from fighting, but warned that they couldn’t bring any weapons and drugs across the border. The village elder also said he is worried that Chinese’s offer is a warning sign about the upcoming battles between KIA and Burmese Army.

It is a change in Chinese officials’ attitude towards Kachin refugees. Kachin refugees who camped in Chinese side of the border had been forcibly repatriated in 2011 and 2012. Chinese officials asked Kachin refugees to dismantle a refugee camp in La Ying and go back inside Kachin State where fierce fighting taking place in Aug 2012.

Local sources said about 20 Burmese military trucks on Monday set out for KIA’s 4th Brigade area, where a series of battles raged between KIA and Burmese Army troops for days, from northern Shan State capital Lashio.

Tensions remain high in Mungkoe area as Burmese Army troops moved towards another mountain, Banglum Bum where KIA has a frontline station, on Sunday.

KIA’s 36th, 38th and 39th Battalion troops have been engaged in a series of battles with Burmese Army troops under 99th LID, 16th MOC and North Eastern Regional Command for days.

TNLA source said its 367th, 773rd, and 777th Battalions troops on Monday engaged in a battle with Burmese Army troops under 77th LID at Tonegyi village in Momeik Township. A series of battles took place between TNLA troops and Burmese Army troops in Manton Township and Kyaukme Township on Sept 19 and 20.