FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM
An aid group in Arakan State said the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) has reached over 200,000 – excluding the 153,600 stateless Rohingya IDPs – from the fighting between the Arakan Army (AA) and the military, prior to the 2022 informal ceasefire and following the resumption of fighting on Nov. 13.
Arakan IDPs are in urgent need of food, warm clothes, and medicine, adds the aid group, unwilling to share its name due to security concerns. The military’s blockade of roads and waterways has prevented humanitarian assistance from reaching the IDPs.
“Now, we’re sheltering at a monastery, sleeping on the floor and eating unhealthy food and facing many difficulties,” said a Pauktaw Township resident who fled his home along with 80,000 others following attacks by the military.
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) states that unverified data suggests approximately 110,000 people have become IDPs from Dec. 1-8 in Karen, Karenni, Arakan and Shan states, as well as Sagaing, Magway and Bago regions.
“They’ve been targeting civilians in a very drastic and desperate manner, to the point where it draws countering forces back to try and protect the civilians. So the needs of IDPs have grown to almost three million people,” said Meredith Bunn, the director of Skills for Humanity, a group providing aid to civilians across Burma.
The U.N. added that two-thirds of the country is now affected by the conflict, as it has spread rapidly since the launch of Operation 1027 by the Brotherhood Alliance on Oct. 27, with the number of IDPs exceeding two million nationwide.