For IDPs near Naypyitaw, a life in limbo

Villagers living in the shadow of the junta’s capital try to stay close to home, even as airstrikes and artillery fire remain a constant threat

Htay found it impossible to relax as her two young children played in the tiny yard where she was cooking their dinner. She knew from experience just how suddenly this ordinary moment could end with them all fleeing in terror.

As one of more than 4,000 villagers displaced from their homes in villages east of the Sittaung River in Bago Region since mid-November, Htay had sought shelter in Yedashe, a town just 50 miles south of Naypyitaw. She and her family had managed to escape after fighting broke out, but tragedy still struck when her husband decided to return to their home village to recover some valuables they had buried there to prevent them being looted by junta soldiers.

“He took a route that would enable him. . .

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