Karenni Civilians Face Risks Returning Home


By Leh Thyoe/Kantarawaddy Times

A Karenni armed group fighting the regime has warned civilians displaced from the conflict of the risks of returning to their villages during this time. Karenni National Defence Force senior committee member Theik said the Burma Army (BA) has planted hidden explosive devices in and around many of the villages in the conflict zone in Karenni State.

“BA soldiers have already destroyed the villagers’ food rations. Nothing is more important than our lives: We can try to get their property later. If the dogs (BA) arrest and kill the villagers, they’ll die for no reason,” he told Kantarawaddy Times. They can approach the Karenni State Consultative Council and volunteer teams for food and other humanitarian aid, says Theik.

A man displaced by the fighting said: “We’ve have nothing to eat, so we’re returning to our village to collect food.” However, he agreed it is too risky because there are many BA soldiers everywhere.

Last week, two people from Htee Thawku and Kaderler in Hpruso Township were injured when they returned home hoping to retrieve food but accidentally detonated hidden landmines. On 4 April, two children were injured by a landmine that exploded while they were playing in front of their home in Dor Oukhu ward in Loikaw, the Karenni State capital.

BA soldiers have also murdered civilians who went home to get things.

According to the Karenni Civil Society Network, the regime has killed at least 246 people in the state since the coup in February 2021.


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