More than 2,600 Displaced by Paletwa Clashes

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Figures released by a local volunteer group show that recent clashes between the Burmese army and the Arakan Army (AA) have displaced more than 2,600 people in southern Chin State’s Paletwa Township.

According to a survey taken by the Paletwa Township Social Volunteer Organization, 2,640 people from 544 families in 18 villages in Paletwa are now living as internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to the fighting between the two sides.

The findings of the survey, which was taken in order to assess the needs of affected villagers, were released last Thursday.

Wai Tang, the chairman of the Paletwa Township Social Volunteer Organization, said the survey showed there was a dire need for outside support.

“They will likely need rice rations for at least four or five months, until the paddy harvest time in mid-September,” he said, adding that it was unclear when the IDPs would be able to return to their homes, as there are continuing tensions in the area.

“They are afraid to go back home, even though there are no clashes there at the moment, because the area is still not stable,” Wai Tang told Khonumthung News.

He said the affected IDPs were relying on support from donors to meet their basic needs because they have no way of earning a living as long as the current situation continues. 

“They would rather try to make money somewhere else than return to their villages, but there are few opportunities for them here, and they cannot travel freely to other areas, either, because of the security situation, so they are facing severe economic hardship,” he said.

According to the survey, the IDPS come from the following villages in southern Paletwa Township: Kong-pyin, Pee-tawng, King-thalin, Kha-mawng-wa, Sert-hlaing-wa, Tha-yar-kon, Yin-khin-wa, Ku-chaung-phyar, Tapoe-ve, Lan-dan, Put-sa-chaung, Myeik-wa, Pakar-wa, Mwi-like-wa, Sa-tin-wa, Pwi-like-wa 1, Pwi-like-wa 2 and Maw-talar.

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