IDP in Kachin, Burma
June 4, 2013
Cause of Displacement:
(1) Tension between Burmese gov an ethnic Kachin rebels.
(2) Burma’s military has been at war against Kachin rebels for decades, but both sides signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The conflict flared again up in June 2011 after the longstanding ceasefire broke down. Fighting escalated in December 2012 until February 2013, when clashes became less frequent.
(3) war has displaced tens of thousands of people. In Myitkyina and Wai Maw alone, more than 12,000 people are currently staying in 39 camps, although there are many other camps in the state.
(1) June 1, preliminary peace agreement signed bn the two parties, Burmese gov says IDPs could return home within 2 months, but detailed plans to be discussed with Kachin Independence Organization (KIO).
(2) May 30, 2013, a government negotiation team and the KIO signed a seven-point statement in which both sides agreed to “undertake efforts to achieve de-escalation and cessation of hostilities” and to “continue discussions on military matters related to repositioning of troops.”
(3) Officials said the agreement—although not a ceasefire—marked an important step toward ending clashes.
(4) US Embassy in Rangoon said the US was encouraged by the agreement and would closely follow the political, military and humanitarian situation in Kachin State.
(1) Tens of thousands of Kachin people have been displaced in fighting between Kachin rebels and the government since a longstanding ceasefire broke down in 2011.
(2) more than 500 refugees at Thagaya camp in Wai Maw Township.
(3) IDP camps are overcrowded and lack supplies.
(4) government has prevented international aid groups from accessing camps in rebel-controlled territories near the border with China, although a UN convoy was allowed to bring aid in February.
(5) UN will assist Burma’s government and the KIO with return of the IDPs.
(6) Camp residents praised the minister’s news but voiced concern for people’s safety. “We really want to go home, but only if there is genuine ceasefire,” one IDP told Aung Min. “Plus we have no money to resume our livelihoods, and our neighborhoods have been riddled with landmines. I’m worried about our children’s education, too.”
(7) minister said that after the government establishes trust with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), de-mining programs would also begin in the state.
(8) “We will support food, education and so on,” he added. “But our government alone can’t handle all of these tasks. It must be an all-inclusive process.”