With their homes still damaged, many of the returnees are staying in a church and monastery.
The Burma Army transported 29 families of around 200 internally displaced people (IDPs) to Nam San Yang village in Kachin State’s Waingmaw Township on Tuesday.
It was the second round of returnees, with the first trip on January 30 involving 17 families. Those sent back to Nam San Yang came from camps across Kachin State—in Myitkyina, Waingmaw and Bhamo townships, as well as from the China-Burma border.
“Of the 29 families, only seven can stay in their own homes. The others’ houses are damaged, so they cannot live in their homes,” Hpaula Gam Hpang, who is helping the IDPs, told KNG. “Some of them are staying in the Catholic Church and some are staying in the Buddhist monastery. Some of them are staying in the house of the 17 families [from the first batch of returnees].”
During this most recent return to Nam San Yang, only the Burma Army was involved in transporting the IDPs back to the village. In the first trip, representatives from the government’s social welfare and resettlement ministry joined the military in the process.
Currently, no organizations have provided assistance to the returnees. However, the Kachin Humanitarian Concern Committee has held discussions with the government and Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) representatives on how to facilitate the safe return of IDPs.
Nam San Yang is located in a government-controlled area on the Myitkyina-Bhamo road, also in the vicinity of the KIO’s Laiza headquarters.