Karenni Endure Hungry And Cold In Hpruso Township

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Thousands of people who have fled junta airstrikes, artillery fire and fighting in Hpruso Township are suffering frigid temperatures and hunger as Burma Army (BA) soldiers continue to block aid deliveries to the beleaguered people in Karenni State.

”It’s really cold here and the children need warm clothes. Most of them don’t have warm trousers, they’re only wearing sports shorts,” a woman affected by the violence told Kantarawaddy Times. She said there are well over 1,500 people in her camp in western Hpruso Township, more than half of whom are women and children. According to the woman, there are more than 6,000 civilians from 60 villages who have been displaced since fighting started in the area in late December.

On Christmas Eve the regime murdered at lease 35 people, including children, and burned their bodies in their vehicles after fighting with Karenni resistance groups near Mo So village. In mid-January,a junta airstrike on the Rekeebu internally displaced person (IDP) camp killed three people, including two children, after which everyone else fled into the jungle. Many of the people fled to the camp after the massacre on Christmas.

“These IDPs need plastic sheets, food rations and other things” to survive in the jungle, a man helping them told Kantarawaddy Times on condition that his name not be published. ”We try to send as much food as possible to the camps,” he said, but because of the dangers involved in delivering relief goods and because the number of those of in need is increasing, we can never send enough.

According to the Karenni Civil Society Network, more than 170,000 of the state’s 300,000 residents have been displaced by the regime’s war against the people. Some have fled to southern Shan State, while others have remained in Karenni State.

As the anniversary of the 1 February coup approaches, 286 organisations, including many Karenni groups, have called on the United Nations Security Council to ”address the deteriorating humanitarian situation and urgent civilian protection concerns in Myanmar as a matter of extreme urgency”.

”UN Security Council member states have a shared responsibility to address the crisis in an open setting and share national positions on actions the UN Security Council should be taking,” the joint statement said.

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