Nearly 20,000 Displaced in Upper Myanmar Amid Junta Forces’ Raids

By The Irrawaddy 27 May 2021

The number of internally displaced persons in Sagaing Region has reached about 20,000, after more than 1,500 residents from a village in Myaung Township fled their homes due to a raid by the junta’s soldiers on Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning, following the murder of a police informant, about 50 of the junta’s soldiers raided and scoured houses of Chaung Zing village, located on the bank of Ayeyarwaddy River in Sagaing Region’s Myaung.

Later, a large number of civilian resistance fighters of the Myaung People Defense Force launched an attack on the junta’s troops deploying at the school and monastery of the village.

During hours of prolonged firefight, there were four military casualties while a civilian resistance fighter was wounded in the arm, a member of People Defense Force said Thursday.

Junta soldiers used a heavy explosive while the civilian resistance fighters were armed with old-fashioned, homemade rifles and homemade gas guns.

Due to the shootout and deployment of the junta’s soldiers, more than 1,500 villagers have fled their homes since Wednesday.

Currently, children and women have taken refuge in the homes of relatives in neighboring villages. Meanwhile, male villagers are hiding in the nearby forests, according to the residents.

A resident said that now the fleeing villagers are concerned about the safety of their livestock because their pigs and cows were left behind, tied to hitching posts.

“We have already planned for the worst situations. So, we will fight them (military regime) until we win,” a member of Myaung People Defense Force told The Irrawaddy.

Also, nearly 20,000 residents from about 50 villages in Kani and Mingin townships of Sagaing Region have been hiding in the nearby forests since last week due to the deployments and shootouts with the Kani’s People Defense Forces.

Currently, homeless residents are facing hardships in the forests due to a lack of food and water, according to the residents.

Now, old people and children are suffering from cholera due to a lack of clean water in the forests, villagers told The Irrawaddy.

The junta’s troops have been raiding and looting the villages in Kani since in April after the shootouts with the civilian resistance fighters of the township began on April 2.

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