August 2021 | Resurrection Hope

Thousands forced to flee in Chin State, Myanmar after military strikes against IDP camps
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Thousands forced to flee in Chin State, Myanmar after military strikes against IDP camps

Around 5,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Chin State, Myanmar, have again been forced to flee after Myanmar Army attacks on villages and IDP camps.

The army – also known as the Tatmadaw – began artillery strikes against IDP camps in the Mindat region of Christian-majority Chin State on 5 June.

The camps and nearby villages were sheltering thousands who were first displaced after a Tatmadaw offensive in the region on 12 May.

 Thousands of Christians in Myanmar have been forcibly displaced from their homes by military attacks

An official from one of the IDP camps explained that “there are only a few areas left for IDPs to flee to”.

“The IDPs are tired of running,” he continued. “They are also facing food shortages as the junta has cut off the transportation of aid.”

The blocking of humanitarian aid to the region prompts the real possibility that IDP camps will run out of food and other supplies.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has warned of “mass deaths from starvation, disease and exposure” in Kayah State, a region with a large Christian population, after “brutal, indiscriminate attacks” against civilians which have displaced an estimated 100,000 people.

The Tatmadaw has repeatedly attacked church buildings in Kayah, on one occasion killing four and injuring eight in artillery strikes against a church in Loikaw, the state capital.

The warning comes amidst ongoing tensions in Buddhist-majority Myanmar since the army seized power in a military coup on 1 February.

The Tatmadaw has for many years persecuted the Christian-majority Chin, Kachin, and Karen ethnic groups as well as the Muslim-majority Rohingya.