Civilians Flee SAC Troops Patrolling Hpruso Township Ahead of Convoy

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Last week, villagers residing at a displaced camp in Hpruso found themselves fleeing once again as a column of soldiers from the State Administration Council (SAC) patrolled their area in the township located in Karenni State.

“Many people are crying; all of the women are crying,” said an anonymous man from Weldu Lya camp. He can’t stop his sister from sobbing. Yet, everyone still needs to carry their food and other properties on their backs as they try to reach a safe place from the fighting during the rain.

“We must get there by foot,” he said, explaining that since the soldiers are on the nearby road, they cannot use it to escape to another village.

Over 800 people comprising 170 families have left the camp located next to the village of Htar Leh.

Another person, also requesting anonymity, has said that as many as four families are sharing one tarp to protect themselves from the rain. With the wet weather, it’s really difficult to light a fire to cook their meals as the shelters are small and all the wood is drenched.

Since a large SAC vehicle convoy arrived in the township, there’s been fighting everyday and the regime has been shelling and flying airstrikes against the resistance forces as well as civilians who are currently trapped in the battlefield.

According to a statement by the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force, which is fighting SAC in the township, the convoy will travel from Hpruso to Bawlakhe and Hpasaung townships, and six columns have been deployed to protect it along the Union Highway.

These columns have been part of an offensive operation in the township where the convoy been stuck for nearly a month after coming under attack by the resistance forces. The columns have stayed off the Union Highway instead travelling lesser roads to villages located east and west of the main roadway.

Before the residents of Weldu Lya camp were forced to flee they and people at Sothel displaced camp were suffering from insufficient supplies. Most of vaccines, vitamins and antibiotics had already expired in the displaced camps but they had no choice but to use them.

One woman said, “We’re worried about side effects of these expired medicines.”

A female volunteer requesting to remain anonymous said, “Some pills are already expired six months ago and some vaccines expired one or two months ago. If the vaccines expired over three months ago, we won’t use them. We will throw them away.” She pointed it out how difficult it is to deliver new medicine to the camps in the state because of SAC’s blockage between Karenni and Shan states.

Many people are suffering from the flu, dengue or malaria, a problem that will only worsen now that they are forced to sleep in the jungle without enough medicine.

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