The number of Kachin Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) has reached over 40,000 due to renewed civil war in Kachin State, northern Burma since June, between the Burmese government and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), which demands self-determination, according to IDP assistance organizations.
Most IDPs are being sheltered in temporary camps in the territories of the KIA near the China border and the rest have fled to major towns in government-controlled areas in Kachin State.
14,470 IDPs have arrived in Bhamo, the second largest town in Kachin State, as of August 10 according to the figures reported by Cathnews India in an interview with Bishop Raymond Sumlut, of Bhamo Township.
In Bhamo, most IDPs are received by Kachin churches, said local church sources.
According to figures provided by IDPs assistance groups up to August 22, 5,276 IDPs have been sheltered in churches in the two main towns in the government-controlled areas of Waingmaw and Myitkyina.
Moreover, there are hundreds of IDPs in Mogaung township, Mohnyin township, Hopin township and Sumprabum township but an exact number is not available, according to KIA officials in the Laiza headquarters.
The Relief Action Network for IDPs and Refugees (RANIR), based in Laiza, said 21,201 IDPs are in shelters in its territories, near the China border.
Currently, Kachin IDPs are helped by churches and local non-governmental organizations like the Metta Development Foundation and the Shalom Foundation. No United Nations’ refugee agency or INGO is supporting Kachin IDPs.