Karenni Relief Groups Struggling To Feed Civilians Affected By Fighting

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Tens of thousands of people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance after the regime attacked resistance groups and villages with fighter jets and shells, forcing civilians to seek shelter in several locations in Karenni and Shan states.

After fleeing multiple times in recent weeks on a moment’s notice, they now have nothing, said Banyar, who’s in charge of humanitarian affairs at the Karenni State Consultative Council. Due to the growing number of people in need, Karenni agencies won’t have enough food for everyone in the foreseeable future, he said.

According to volunteers, many people have fled to Nam Maekhong area in Demawso Township after the Burma Army (BA) launched a massive clearance operation around Mobye in southern Shan State. It was difficult enough to provide for all the IDPs there before. But now with the new arrivals who’ve fled the fighting in Shan State’s Pekon Township, there’s 10,000 people to care for and the available resources have been stretched. Additionally, there are also not enough tarps for shelters or medicines, and with the onset of the dry season, there’s less drinking water for the camps.

Karenni resistance groups have been fighting the regime’s forces in southern Shan State everyday since 16 February. At the same time, BA fighter jets recently attacked Nam Maekhong village, killing two people, and attacked other villages in western Demawso Township on the border with Shan State. Of the 300,000 people living in Karenni State, 180,000 have been displaced by the conflict, which began last May.

Banyar said: “I have been advising everyone to flee and find a safe place as far away from the fighting as possible.”

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