Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 04 August |
Saint of the Day: St. John Vianney
home iconNews
line break icon

85,000 Kachin Refugees Told It’s Still Too Dangerous to Return Home

DR

John Zaw - published on 06/12/13 - updated on 06/07/17

Two years since the beginning of the conflict, there's still no firm timetable for the withdrawal of soldiers

Two years into the conflict in northern Myanmar’s Kachin state, tens of thousands of refugees remain in camps. Despite some recent success in peace talks between the government and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), aid workers warn that the situation remains too risky for refugees to return to their homes.
Government minister Aung Min, who has spearheaded ceasefire negotiations with the Kachin, said a fortnight ago that the more than 85,000 displaced should leave camps by the end of the monsoon season. But with clashes still occurring two years after the conflict first erupted on June 9, his remark was not greeted positively.
“If we send the people back to their homes at the end of monsoon season, it’s like we’ll be letting them die in their villages,” said Khon Ja, coordinator of the Kachin Peace Network. One problem she cited was the lack of a timeframe for the withdrawal of troops from civilian areas.
“There is no guarantee for the people to go back to their homes safely. The government must act to address the issues,” she added.
The two sides last week signed a seven-point agreement that could see the fighting scaled back. The KIA however is demanding that a political dialogue take place over the status of the northern state, which still demands autonomy from Myanmar.
“We want to go back home but I presume that we can return home only when there is no more fighting and peace is brought to the region,” Mayang Roi, a 55-year-old woman from Mang Wing refugee camp in Kachin state, told ucanews.com.
The two years of fighting have had a major impact on the social fabric of the Kachin. Mary Tawn, co-founder of the Wunpawng Ninghtwe relief organization based in the Kachin state town of Mai Ja Yang, said that schools and houses would need to be rebuilt before refugees return to their villages.
Diminishing international aid reaching the refugees is compounding the concerns about their future. The main UN relief agency appealed for US$ 50.9 million to help the refugees between March and December this year, but has so far only received US$ 1.2 million.
The government has placed tight restrictions on aid reaching refugees in KIA-controlled territories, fearing it could bolster the opposition force. So far, only a handful of relief convoys have been allowed to enter territory that is not controlled by the government. 

Originally published by UCANews on June 12th, 2013.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Saint Mary of the Angels
Bret Thoman, OFS
All your sins will be forgiven if you go to a Franciscan church o...
2
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
3
CARLO ACUTIS
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
4
JEDZENIE
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
5
Philip Kosloski
Most priests can’t absolve these sins
6
ANTENUCCI
Ary Waldir Ramos Diaz
1st Feast of Our Lady of Silence is August 1
7
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.