Military council pressures Paletwa IDPs to return to home by October

Some IDPs who flee to Paletwa. (Photo-Chin World Media)

The military council has told in-charges of Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps that the IDPs in Paletwa Township in Chin State must return home by October.

On 19 August, Paletwa Township administrator held a meeting with the in-charges of IDP camps and told them to prepare for repatriation in October as stability is restored, an in-charge of IDP camp.

“All IDPs from downtown Paletwa will return home before October. So, they told us to prepare in advance. They did not say the exact day,” an in-charge of IDP said.

Daw Khaing Win Shwe, an IDP from Agriculture IDP camp in Paletwa said: “IDPs don’t want to return home. If we are forced to return home, we must return. We have no place to live if we don’t return home. We should be forced to return home only after the clearance of area. We want the authorities to provide cash assistance for the repairing of damaged houses and food rations.”

The IDPs do not want to return home due to the presence of armed forces in the villages and near the villages, fear of resumed fighting, the danger of landmines and a lack of security guarantee.

The commander of 289 Battalion told the IDPs to return home in October at a meeting in late May.

A man from the school camp in Paletwa said: “We want them to provide us food for one year if we are forced to return home. Because we have no cattle. How can we earn our living in our native area?

The IDPs in Paletwa are Agriculture IDP camp, High School IDP camp, RC IDP camp, the monastery IDP camp, the football ground camp and Weikthokedaryone IDP camp.

Around 2,700 people from Hnamada, Thahtaykone, Laehla, Thakarchaung, Kaythet and Thayettaung villages in Paletwa are taking shelter in the IDP camps.

In December, 2022, the military council sent around 450 IDPs from Abaungthar village, who fled to Paletwa due to the fighting between the Myanmar army and the Arakan Army (AA).

Some IDPs in Arakan State returned home after the military council and the Arakan Army (AA) made a ceasefire based on the humanitarian ground in November, 2022. The IDPs who returned home face livelihood and employment difficulties.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has announced that there are still more than 58,000 displaced people in Arakan State and Paletwa Township, who have not been able to return to their homes.

Sent by Aung Htein (DMG)


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