IEC Announces Efforts to Repatriate Locals in Areas Controlled by Revolutionary Forces

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By Kantarawaddy Times.

The Karenni Interim Executive Council (IEC) Secretary 2, U Banya, stated that they are working to enable locals to return home in certain areas of Karenni State currently under the control of revolutionary forces.

“We are considering allowing returns on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the diverse situations and varying military and political landscapes in each region. We are actively working on this. As mentioned earlier, this involves collaboration with relevant forces, addressing necessary military, political, and healthcare concerns. We are granting permission to return to areas that are ready. We are gradually addressing the required support, starting with agricultural assistance and landmine clearance, through collaboration.”

The Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) announced on March 24th that revolutionary forces have gained control of approximately 90% of the Karenni State territory. However, Tar Aike Soe, the KNDF’s Information and Public Relations Officer, mentioned that landmine clearance operations are still pending in many of these controlled areas.

“The military council not only targets areas of conflict but also employs heavy weaponry in peaceful zones. Attacks on civilian settlements and IDP camps have become a recurring theme throughout the three years of revolution” he said.

He further elaborated on their plans to systematically continue with landmine clearance efforts. While some villages deemed safe for return have seen residents moving back, U Banya emphasized that they haven’t authorized returns to urban wards due to persisting safety concerns.

“Certain towns, for instance, Shadaw, Demoso, and Mese, are still not conducive for habitation. Moebye in Pekhon Township is another case where return is not yet permitted due to ongoing military necessities and potential landmine threats.”

The conflict between the military council and revolutionary forces in Karenni State, which escalated after the coup, has been ongoing for nearly three years. According to a report released by the Karenni Civil Society Network (KCSN) on March 15, 2024, around 250,000 locals have been displaced from their homes due to the conflict.

The prolonged displacement has resulted in an increased need for food and supplies among IDPs, alongside persistent concerns regarding security for their eventual return.



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