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Christians a symbol of Myanmar's unresolved conflict

Thousands of displaced people languish in camps waiting for conditions to allow them to return to their villages

John Zaw, Mandalay

John Zaw, Mandalay

Updated: July 03, 2020 07:29 AM GMT
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Christians a symbol of Myanmar's unresolved conflict

A displaced Kachin family at the Baptist-run Ja Mai Kaung camp for internally displaced persons in Myitkyina, capital of Kachin state, in April 2017. (Photo: UCA News)

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Paul Zaw Lawt, a displaced Kachin Catholic, still remembers the days when he lived in a makeshift bamboo dwelling in the jungle after fighting erupted near his village.

Zaw Lawt’s family and other villagers were forced to flee into the jungle, abandoning their houses and livestock, due to fighting between the Tatmadaw (military) and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in June 2011.

He recalled his family had to spend nearly two years in the jungle with little food until they reached St. Joseph (Pa La Na) camp run by the Catholic Church in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin state, in March 2013. More than 2,000 Catholics and some Baptists live in the camp.

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