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The White Holding Hands charity is set to arrive in Kachin state to deliver aid to refugees affected by the on-going conflict between the Kachin Independence Army and government troops in northern Burma.
“Our aid team is delivering three million Kyat in cash and over 1500 items including clothes for adults and children as well as shoes, blankets and toys,” said Ngu Wah of White Holding Hands said. Burmese and Japanese residents living in Japan made the donations.
“They are mainly heading to the camp in Manwein [village in Shwegu township, Bhamo district] and will plan their next destination depending on where aid is needed,” said Ngu Wah.
The White Holding Hands group previously delivered aid to refugee camps in Kachin and Shan states alongside the China-Burma border.
According to estimates published by numerous aid organisations, the fighting between the KIA and government troops has displaced about 75,000 people.
A 17-year ceasefire ended last June when fighting erupted in the Kachin state, after the government demanded that the KIA join a state-run Border Guard Force.
Government negotiators and the KIA have held six rounds of talks, but have yet to reach any agreement. Yesterday’s Burmese state-run newspapers published a report accusing the KIA of targeting civilians in their skirmishes as fighting continues between the two sides. The KIA denied the allegations.
In a renewed effort to work out a deal with the rebel troops in Kachin state, the government is assembling a team of 50 negotiators that will be led by the country’s vice president who hope to strike a deal with the KIA.