By Kantarawaddy Times
Thousands forced from their homes by Burma Army (BA) attacks and fighting with resistance groups have been prevented from returning to their villages to cultivate their farms in Hpruso Township, Karenni State.
”We terrified to return to our farm because they’re still soldiers in the area. They’ve already arrested some farmers in the past. We are nervous that they’ve planted landmines on our farm,” an anonymous woman from the township told Kantarawaddy Times.
Most people in Hpruso derive their income from farming and are worried about how they’ll survive after they’re unable to farm this year.
“We’re facing many difficulties that I’ve no idea how to solve. I can’t even think about it. We have nothing left in our village, so I don’t know what we’ll eat when we return. Some people have secretly returned to their farms to plant,” says an anonymous man living in an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Hpruso Township.
BA’s Light Infantry Battalion 428 and 531 are based in the area and set up a checkpoint outside of Hpruso town as well as sending soldiers to patrol towns and villages in search of resistance fighters in the township.
The Karenni Nationalities Defense Force, which frequently clashes with BA, issued travel warnings to civilians to avoid nonessential travel as fighting could erupt anytime.
According volunteers, there’s about 4,000 IDPs in Hpruso Township reliant on foods and other assistance from private donors.