Monday, June 17th 2024

Over 1,000 returned IDPs in Paletwa struggle with food insufficiency

Narinjara News, 29 March 2023

Over 1,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), who have returned to their places under Paletwa township of Chin State, are currently facing food crisis as they are deprived of any assistance from donor organizations as well as the military council, said the affected families.

A returnee villager from Seintsanwa revealed that they ran out of the food stuff. They are also concerned about the danger of landmines, because of which they can not move freely to sustaining their livelihood.

"Ever since we have returned, we are facing difficulties to survive. We are afraid of the landmines in forest areas where we can not go to collect food items and fire wood. So we are going to inform the township general administrative office about our difficulties,” he added.

The refugees from Paletwa locality comprise around 300 households from 19 villages including Lower Meelatwa, Baungwa, NgaWe, InnKhowa, Tamanthar, Sephalaung, Paletchaungwa, Lower Theamawa and Seintsanwa.

"We have no work at this moment. It’s not the time of farming either. But we are afraid of going to the mountain for the landmines,” said a Lower Meelatwa villager.

The refugees returned home in November 2022 and January this year after repeated pursuations by the military council to do so.

The military officials explain that the areas under Paletwa township are presently stable and hence they forced the IDPs to return to their vilages after offering Kyats 3 to 6 million per household.

The township currently houses around 5,000 IDPs in various camps like Withudhayone monastery, Baw Lone Kwin, Site Pyo Yay, RC Church and BEHS (1). The villagers left their places due to fear of accidents caused by the landmines and remnants of military weapons near the forest areas.

In Rakhine State, IDPs from townships including Ponnagyun, Mrauk-U, Kyauktaw, Minbya and Ann were forced to return to their villages in recent weeks by the military council officials. They are also reportedly facing difficulties in surviving with no proper houses and food stocks.

Despite a ceasefire between the military council and Arakan Army in Rakhine State and Paletwa township of Chin State that was materialized four months back over 60,000 IDPs are yet to return home. However, some IDPs have already returned to their places, said a recent report by the Uinted Nations.

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