By Kantarawaddy Times
Saturday, June 4, 2022
Many civilians uprooted by the conflict in Karenni State and in need of food and medicine could die if they don’t receive substantial humanitarian assistance in the coming months, the Karenni Human Rights Group (KnHRG) told a press conference in late May.
“If the current situation continues, many internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Karenni State will suffer from mental depression and the mortality rate of children, elderly and mothers could increase dramatically in the next three to four months,” Banyar, the director of KnHRG, told Kantarawaddy Times.
”A few days ago, a baby died of severe diarrhoea in an IDP camp, and this is just the beginning.”
The only way to avert this disaster is for UN and other international organisations to provide humanitarian aid to IDPs in Karenni State, where no one can farm in townships like Demawso and Hpruso because of the conflict and the Burma Army’s (BA) blockade of all access roads.
“We depend on humanitarian aid from individuals and aid agencies because we’ve no regular income. We worry about our food rations because we don’t know what the future holds,” says an IDP from western Demawso who wishes to remain anonymous.
According to Banyar, more than 200 civilians have died since the coup. “Some were killed in the clashes, others were arrested and killed by the BA. Some people stepped on a (hidden) landmine, others from shelling. Some people died of diseases in the IDP camps.”
Nearly 300,000 people live in Karenni State and more than two-thirds of them have been displaced by the conflict.