At least that’s the most common scenario. A ceasefire has been in place for years – peace talks first began between the two parties over a decade ago – but there have been sporadic breaks and exchanges of gunfire when frustrations ran higher than the desire to put down their weapons.
It’s almost become a derogatory term.
"As if it’s our fault! Don’t they see we had no choice?" Bitun told us in a recent interview, her own frustration and sadness clearly evident in her voice.
Bakwits like Bitun have been running so long that in many areas it is perceived they stay mobile on purpose. That they don’t look for permanent resettlements so they can keep living on hand-outs from the government and aid agencies. It is much easier after all, many believe, to get a free meal than to return to the poverty that has long kept these transients in chains.
"This is not the life I wanted for my children …"
From Bitun, the Bakwin by Marga Ortigas for Al Jazeera.