Thousands Flee Advancing Tatamadaw Troops in Karenni State

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Thousands of villagers are fleeing after the Burma Army sent reinforcements to support soldiers fighting with Karenni armed groups in Hpruso and Bawlakhe townships. The violence has already affected 2,629 people in the middle of the rainy season.

A volunteer helping them told Kantarawaddy Times they need plastic sheeting for protection from the rain and food. “Some IDPs (internally displaced persons) brought some food when they fled but it is not enough,” she said.

A man displaced by the fighting said: “We need mosquito netting, plastic sheets and medicine. Many mosquitoes and other insects are biting us.” He is concerned that the children will acquire influenza.

According to the volunteers Kantarawaddy Times spoke with they also need rice, cooking oil, salt, dried food, insect repellent, disposable feminine hygiene products, drinking water and items for the children.

The Karenni Army (KA) and Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) fought with the military on July 18, in the evening, between Nan Hpe village and Kali Lyar villages. The following day, the military shelled villages with artillery and raided homes, stealing whatever they wanted.

According to a man knowledgeable about the conflict who asked for his name to not be published, there are two Burma Army columns advancing in Hpruso Township, explaining “if the military columns enter KA’s territory, then a clash will be unavoidable”.

Many people, including pregnant women, started fleeing after news broke of more Burma Army soldiers on their way. The IDPs worry if the military arrives to where they are hiding they will have to flee again.

Residents from Nan Hpe, Dawsel Khu, Kawlawdu, Kali Lyar, Pale Lae, Palo Daykho and Nan Khwe Kho villages have all fled.

Donations for IDPs can be arranged by contacting any of the following numbers in Burma: +959765733168, +959445571977, +959788069188, +959428003926.

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