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Displaced residents who fled to China earlier this month to escape renewed fighting in Kachin State are suffering from a shortage of food and aid.
On 10 April, 109 displaced residents fled Hka Hkye Zup camp in Kachin’s Mansi Township, after fighting between government forces and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) came in close proximity to their camp.
The residents crossed the river into China and are now sheltering in a makeshift camp in Lung Kawk.
Conditions on the Chinese side are poor and there are not enough shelters to go round.
“We are living rough here – sleeping on the ground. There are elderly people among us who are in poor health and we don’t have enough tarpaulin sheets,” a displaced woman said.
Though the IDPs have only travelled a short distance, the UN refugee agency is not allowed to cross the river to deliver much-needed aid.
“Back across the border, we received aid from the UNHCR, but the Chinese authorities are stopping items with their logos from coming across and we are facing a rice shortage,” the displaced woman said.
Kachin residents told DVB that for now, Chinese authorities are allowing them to stay. However, they are not receiving aid.
“When we first arrived here, the Chinese persistently told us to go back,” the displaced woman said. “They claimed the gunfire had ceased and there is no more fighting. Recently, they have been saying we can stay but they are not providing us with any assistance.”
Fighting flared on 10 April in the Mansi area of Kachin State, after Burmese troops bolstered their presence in Kachin and northern Shan states, including KIA Territory.
Since then, aid and relief groups have announced that more than 3,000 people have been displaced.