By Kantarawaddy Times
As the conflict rages on in western Hpruso Township, thousands of civilians who were forced to flee their homes on a moment’s notice are in urgent need of emergency assistance in the jungle camps where they are now sheltering. They desperately need food, medicine, warm clothes and blankets, but the Burma Army (BA) has blocked all of the roads preventing aid from getting in.
”The weather is really cold, but there are no buildings for them (to sleep),” Banyar, director of Karenni Human Rights Group (KHRG), told Kantarawaddy Times.
Since last week, BA Light Infantry Battalion 108 has launched an intensive offensive in the area to drive out Karenni resistance groups. Some 1,817 people have been displaced from 7 villages in Mo So village tract, with another 14 villages in the area also affected by the fighting. On Christmas Eve, the army massacred 35 people and burned their bodies in their vehicles when they fled the fighting.
Banyar expressed concern about the health of the elderly and children who are forced to sleep on the ground in freezing temperatures without enough clothes and blankets. ”There are no doctors, nurses or medicines in the area…The weather is so cold that they will get sick.”
”We need food, but the BA blocks all the roads and prevents us from moving freely,” says a woman who was affected by the clashes.
According to KHRG, there are about 7,000 internally displaced persons in Hpruso Township and more than 150,000 have been affected in Karenni State since the 1 February coup.