By Kantarawaddy Times
According to the Karenni Human Rights Organisation (KHRO), the Tatmadaw has arrested more than 200 civilians, including 30 volunteers who were helping villagers displaced by military offensives.
“Some of the volunteers were arrested for bringing food to the IDPs, others were arrested in the town for trying to help people,” Banyar, the KHRO director, told Kantarawaddy Times.
According to KHRO, the youngest person arrested by the Burma Army (BA) in Karenni State was 15 years old and the oldest was over 50, with most of those arrested being between 20 and 30.
On 27 September, Burma’s State Administrative Council charged 112 people with incitement under Article 505 (a), 7 under Article 302, 6 under Article 19 (f) and 4 under Article 17 (1).
The BA not only arrest civilians who help the IDPs, they also try to kill them.
Last month, the Tatmadaw shot at a vehicle delivering rations to IDPs without food in Demawso Township, according to a volunteer.
”Without notice, soldiers suddenly attacked our vehicle and we were afraid for our safety. We can be killed at any time,” he said, explaining that if the military continues to shoot at them, they’ll not be able to feed the camps and the IDPs will starve.
According to another volunteer in eastern Loikaw Township, BA has set up checkpoints at the entrance to the town of Loikaw and soldiers are checking every vehicle, preventing relief supplies from reaching the displaced civilians.
“We have to use jungle roads to bring food to the IDPs. During the rainy season, the road is impassable and we have to carry the food ourselves, which takes a lot of time,” she says. It’s also very dangerous for the volunteers, so the trip has to be well planned.
According to KHRO, over 130,000 people have been displaced by BA offenses and fighting with Karenni Army and Karenni civilian resistance groups starting last May.