Baby Dies While Family Flees Fighting in Shan State, Father Says

By Lawi Weng 2 November 2018

Mon State — A 19-day-old baby died after falling sick on Tuesday in northern Shan State when the family was forced to flee their home to escape fighting in the area among a trio of ethnic armed groups, according to the parents.

The father, Tu Mai, told The Irrawaddy that his wife gave birth to twins on Oct. 11 in Mang Bein Village and that they took them to the town of Lashio, about 13 km away, after they fell sick to get them treated.

He said they stayed in Lashio for 10 days and that a day after they returned to their village the fighting broke out, forcing them to hide in the jungle for about two hours in the rain without food or clothes for the babies, at which time one of the girls fell ill again.

Tu Mai said they made it to the village of Aee Nang, about 3 km away, by midnight but three days later had to flee again with others to Lashio when the fighting escalated. But the baby died once they arrived and they held her funeral the same day.

The father said the other baby was in good health. However, he said the camp was short of food and that health workers have advised his wife to go to a hospital but that they did not have enough money to get her treatment.

Tu Mai said he had no words to express how sad he felt after having to flee his home and losing a baby.

Fighting in the area broke out on Oct. 26 pitting the Ta’ang National Liberation Army and the armed wing of the Shan State Progress Party against the armed wing of the Restoration Council of Shan State. More than 1,000 people have been displaced from several villages and are taking shelter at churches and monasteries in Lashio.