Tue 23 Oct 2012
Filed under: Inside Burma,Military,News
Intimidation and threats of violence by Myanmar government soldiers forced the entire of population of Nam Si In village, in western Kachin state, to flee from their homes last weekend.
The abandoned village, between Kahtan Yang and Kamaing, near Myitkyina to Hpakant roads, is located in an area that has seen heavy fighting as the military attempts to drive out the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) out of the lucrative jade rich region.
The trouble started on Friday, after a government army column of more than 60 soldiers arrived. Shortly after, Light Infantry Division No. 88 troops rounded up most of the men in the village and bound them. The men were interrogated about having connections with the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), according to a witness who declined to give their name.
Most of the men were later released. However, village headman, Nam Si, U Naing Linn and Lagyawm Gun are still in military custody, according to a unnamed villager.
Most of the villagers fled to the nearby Kamaing, where they are sheltering in churches, or living with relatives. The local Baptist church is now sheltering more than 170 internally displaced persons (IDPs) – overwhelmingly they are elderly or children – a church pastor told the Kachin News Group (KNG).
The Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) gave the church five sacks of rice. Myitkyina based Kachin Baptist Association also gave them 500,000 Kyat (US$587), according to a church official.
Residents of the two villages – located near Nam Si In, Loi Seng and Kahtan Yang – told the KNG they are also worried government troops will come soon to harass them.
Since the conflict in Kachin state, started again on June 9, 2011, an estimated 100,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Kachin and neighboring Shan state.