Aid workers are concerned the numbers of refugees fleeing from the conflict between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independent Army is increasing.
The number of villagers now internally displaced has jumped from 30,000 to 35,000 as fighting continues.
The KIA estimates that there has been 62 major clashes happened so far this month. The KIA say against this backdrop of violence the Burma government wants to hold peace talks – in November the two sides met to discuss a ceasefire.
Lan Nan, a senior spokesperson for the Kachin Independence Organization and the KIA spoke to Karen News.
“We had at least 60 clashes so far this month. Refugees are increasing, the most critically areas are on the China Burma border – Laiza and Momauk Township. The number of displaced people does not include those who have taken refuge across the border in China border and in places we cannot reach – gathering information on the situation of these people is vital.”
The KIA’s Lan Nan explained to Karen News about the battlefield situation around Momauk and Mohnyin Township.
“They [Burma Army] have increased their battalions in Kachin State. They have replaced soldiers who were stationed here during our 17 year ceasefire with ones who have no links to our community.”
A volunteer medic from Maija Yang area, Momauk Township confirmed to Karen News that between 30 to 40 displaced people are arriving at Maija Yang every day and the number has reach 2,000.
The medic says many of the displaced people are ill and some old people have died in the harsh winter conditions as they lack essential foodstuff and warm clothing and blankets.
The KIA estimates 10 of their soldiers were killed and at least a 100 Burma Army soldiers were killed during the first week’s fighting in December.