06/14/2020 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – Civil war between the Myanmar Army (Tatmadaw) and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) on northern Myanmar’s Kachin state since 2011 continues to be a nightmare for the Christian majority ethnic Kachin people.
When a 17-year bilateral cease-fire agreement between the two parties broke down in 2011, tens of thousands of Kachin became internally displaced. Despite the government’s attempt to move some of them back, it has not become a reality for most of the IDPs.
The director of the Humanity Institute in Kachin’s capital of Myitkyina, Francis Saw Htoo, told Radio Free Asia, “It is still not a good time for us to return according to the situation on the ground. There is no systematic plan to clear landmines, and the government army and the KIA have no plan or agreement for the IDPs to return home.”
“If we return home in this situation, we won’t feel secure physically or mentally,” he added.
Even with those who were fortunate enough to return, they face new challenges as the resources back home are scarce. According to Rev. Joseph Youngwa from the Nang Sang Yang Church, the IDPs now face shortages of potable water and electricity in the underdeveloped state.
To date, the clashes have left hundreds of citizens dead and making more than 105,000 IDPs. According to the United Nations for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), over 170 Myanmar Camps hold these IDPs, along with their northern neighbor, the Shan state.