“We have security difficulties as the transportation of goods for IDPs has to go through the checkpoints of the military council. We also have communication difficulties due to phone and internet blackouts.” Ko Yaw Na Than, the ground in-charge of Dawna-Tanintharyi IDPs Support Team

0
235
Caption - Some IDPs in Tanintharyi Region.

An interview with Ko Yaw Na Than, a ground official of Dawna-Tanintharyi IDPs Support Group about the situations of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Tanintharyi Region.

In Tanintharyi Region where intense fighting between the military council and the revolutionary forces is taking place, the number of locals fleeing the war is gradually increasing.

The beginning of 2024 has seen more intense fighting between the military council and the revolutionary forces in Tanintharyi Region.

People who are helping IDPs say that the number of new IDPs has increased due to the military council’s offensives.

Independent Mon News Agency (IMNA) interviewed Ko Yaw Na Than, a ground official of Dawna-Tanintharyi IDPs Support Group about the situations of IDPs in Tanintharyi Region.

Q: Tanintharyi Region has seen an increase in the number of new IDPs at the beginning of 2024. Which areas have seen an increase in the number of IDPs?

A: It can be said that Myeik District has seen a significant increase in the number of IDPs at the beginning of 2024. Almost all villagers have to flee due to the ongoing fighting in Yebyu of Myeik District. In the past, only political activists had to flee near Zawan village in Banlamuk, 4th mile and Myeik Archipelago. But now local residents have to flee for safety as the military council is indiscriminately firing heavy weapons almost every day. Locals are also displaced by fighting in Ngabainkywin village in Tanintharyi Township and Khoneman village in Myeik Township. At the beginning of this year, the military entered villages where the military council conducted offensive operations before, in Dawei District and burned down many civilian houses there. Due to these circumstances, there has been an increase in the number of IDPs in Launglon.

Q: How are the new IDPs currently accommodated? Let me know their current situations?

A: It is difficult to say how IDPs are accommodated. In Tanintharyi Region, most of the IDPs flee the war on a temporary basis. When the army enters the villages, villagers flee for a while. When the army leaves the villages, there return to their villages. There are very few systematic displacements at the IDP camps. IDP camp officials collect information about the IDPs who take refuge in the IDP camps and have to make necessary arrangements for their accommodation, necessary health care, education and rations.

Q: What kind of difficulties are the existing and new IDPs facing due to the ongoing military tension?

A: The permanent IDPs are in urgent need of a lot of basic needs for the long-term such as food and health care. Permanent IDPs are in need of many things for their children’s education. But non-permanent IDPs are in need of rations in case of emergency. They also need health care. They have to suddenly flee to the forests without any shelters as the military enters the village. The temporary IDPs are in need of shelters.

Q:  As a person and an organization that helps IDPs, what kind of challenges are you facing at this time?

A: As a person helping IDPs, there are a lot of difficulties and challenges. Personally, I have more stress than before in helping IDPs during this period. When we work more, we have to face more difficulties and crises. We are not physically tired, but mentally tired a lot. We have security difficulties as the transportation of goods for IDPs has to go through the checkpoints of the military council. We also have communication difficulties due to phone and internet blackouts. A lot of human resources and financial resources are needed. Health sector is in need of human resources such as doctors and nurses for health care while the education sector also needs teachers. We are facing a lot of challenges and difficulties.

Q: Fighting continue to intensify. So, what kind of preparations have you made for IDPs in the months to come?

A: As fighting may intensify in the months to come, the public need to know what they need to prepare in advance? And what do they need to know the displacement plan? I would like to urge the public to keep a watchful eye on and follow the announcements and prohibitions issued by the people’s defense forces from time to time. The IDPs support organizations like us are making necessary preparations for IDPs and provide aid to the IDPs in a timely manner.

Sent by IMNA.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here