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10/10/2018 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – Myanmar’s military and other armed ethic groups are not showing signs of peace giving Christians living in internally displaced people (IDP) camps no option but to move on and resettle somewhere else after living in IDP camps for six years.

Since 2011, more than 100,000 people have been forced to go to 167 IDP camps in Kachin and Shan State.

Peter Nawag Lat, a displaced Kachin said he had been living in an IDP camp in Northern Shan since 2012, but now plans to move to the village of Gala, with no hope of being able to return home. Claiming “the sporadic outbursts of fighting near our village have more or less stopped, but the security threat stops us from going home because there are still armed ethnic groups nearby.”

Peter is just one of 130 Catholic IDP’s planning to relocate themselves at the first of the year. Peter said “We will have to struggle in our daily lives and adapt to a new environment but we see this as a good long-term strategy.”

Recently, various groups have begun to work on resettlement plans to help those living in IDP camps resettle. Bishop Raymond Sumlut Gam, the chairman of Karuna Myanmar is one of many working on the plans. He said that they have designated areas for the IDP’s to relocate to that have not been subject to any violent clashes lately.

Bishop Gam said that “we prioritize the safety of IDPs and setting in motion a long-term plan to guarantee their livelihood, education, and healthcare.” He continued saying “security is the key!” If people did not feel safe, they will not be able to rebuild a better life for themselves.

Currently around 70 families have already made the move and resettled in the area but churches along with NGO’s in the village are working to get more people resettled there.

For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].