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Hundreds of refugees in northern Kachin State are not receiving humanitarian aid, according to the Kachin Baptist Council (KBC).
Monsoonal conditions has rendered local roads inaccessible while the government has refused to allow aid groups to send aid supplies via waterways.
The council said that internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Maliyan and Sumprabum, some 200 kilometres north of state capital Myitkyina, are most affected.
On 18 July, the state government announced that that relief supplies could not be transported north via the Mali River or other waterways, KBC said, despite aid trucks’ inability to traverse roads which are flooded or thick with mud.
Speaking to DVB, KBC information officer Lama Yaw said, “Almost all roads are too muddy to pass. It is impossible to go by road.”
He said that the journey would take two and a half days by river to reach the IDPs in question.
Lama Yaw said that as the refugees are situated in rebel Kachin Independence Army (KIA) territory, the government may be worried that supplies will fall into enemy hands.
KBC said it requested permission to both the state government and the regional military command to relay humanitarian aid to the IDPs via the river on 14 July.
Col. Zaw Daung from the KIA said more than 1,000 IDPs, including 271 primary schoolchildren, are currently taking refuge in the villages of Jarayang and N-htanzup on the eastern side of the Mali River.
The area was the scene of clashes between government troops and KIA forces on 24-25 June and again on 10- 15 July.