Over 1,000 people from Kayah village in need of shelter, medicine after fleeing fighting 

More than 1,000 people displaced by fighting in Kayah State’s Demoso Township say they are in desperate need of shelter, sleeping mats, and medical supplies as heavy monsoon rains sweep the forests where they are sleeping rough.

They are among over 1,500 who have fled Li Woe village since late May, leaving the community virtually abandoned. Maung Woe, one of those who fled, said aid groups have not reached the villagers. 

“Now we have no shelter from the rain,” he said. “The children and the elderly are catching colds and getting diarrhea because of this.”

Locals from the village, which is part of the Sin Taung village tract, first fled their homes in early May before returning. But they were later forced to flee again after the military and local resistance fighters clashed in Loikaw and Demoso.

The fighting also spread to Moebye and Pekhon in neighbouring Shan State.

The violence has now stopped after the military and resistance fighters reached a ceasefire agreement, but tensions remain high.

Maung Woe said he feared there would be more clashes and that he and the other villagers would be displaced long-term, in which case he said they would start running low on food. 

The regime has used fighter jets and long-range artillery during attacks in Kayah and southern Shan. Its soldiers have routinely targeted civilians and destroyed medical supplies and rations donated to displaced people.

Dozens of civilians have been reported killed, while others have been tortured and arrested. Myanmar military soldiers have also looted civilian property in Loikaw, Demoso, Pekhon and Moebye.

In Moebye and Demoso, residents returned after the recent ceasefire to find corpses in the streets and inside schools. At least 20 bodies were found in the towns. 

Separately, an official from the Karenni National Progressive Party, the political wing of the Karenni Army, estimated that another 50 civilians died at the hands of the military council during the recent clashes.

The fighting has displaced more than 100,000 people. Demoso, the epicenter of the violence, has been badly damaged, with many buildings destroyed and looted.

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