Kasung IDPs Return Home, Church Money Robbed by Burmese Army Troops

The Kasung and Zup Mai Yang IDPs who had recently been taking shelter in Lambraw Yang reportedly returned to their respective villages on August 22 evening, the KLN has learned.

After community prayer services were held in Lambraw Yang churches on August 22 morning, with assistance from Peace Creation Group (PCG), United Nations and several other local humanitarian groups, all IDPs left for home in more than 100 vehicles, a church leader from Lambraw Yang told KLN.

Having returned to their village after being away for more than a week, the villagers find their houses have not been vandalized; however, the Burmese troops thoroughly searched inside the houses and the village churches leaving behind a complete mess.

The villagers have not had a chance to inspect paddy fields and plantations that are far from the village but the ones next to the village had been thrashed and finished off by the cattle the Burmese troops had released, according to an elder from Kasung.

The donated items received during their brief stay in Lambraw Yang had also been brought to Kasung along with the IDPs. The Kasung villagers, who are members of both Baptist and Catholic churches reportedly held a combined prayer service on August 25 to mark their safe return.

Meanwhile, two senior members of the Warazup’s Kachin Baptist church have reportedly been abducted and interrogated by the Burmese army troops.

On August 22 at noon, church treasurers Mr Su Hting Nan and Mr Hpaumyang Ring Ja were travelling from Warazup to Myitkyina KBC Administrative office carrying with them 2 million kyats (approximately US$2,000) of church money while they were stopped by Burmese troops from an unknown unit at Maran Kathawng in Mugong township. The soldiers stole 700,000 kyats along with other personal items from the two travellers’ bags, reported a local source.

The two men were interrogated for hours until they were released at around 6:00 p.m. The Myitkyina-based KBC leaders have reportedly filed a complaint to the Kachin State government regarding the blatant harassment on civilians and the robbery of church money by the Burmese troops.