Military Council Burn Food and Medicine For Displaced Villagers in Shan State

By Kantarawaddy Times

The military is committing crimes against humanity, according to Humanitarian Focal, citing a recent example when soldiers destroyed food and medicine destined for villagers in southern Shan State.

Soldiers shot and injured a person in a vehicle that was part of a convoy to bring urgently needed supplies to internally displaced persons (IDPs) on June 11 even though it had a white flag, said the organisation formed by Karenni State Consultative Council. After, the military burned the food and medicine at the base of Loi Ying Mountain in Moe Bye town to prevent it from reaching those who needed it. Some of the vehicles carrying donations were from the Catholic Church.

According to Humanitarian Focal, since the conflict started the military council has repeatedly prevented relief from reaching the IDPs in southern Shan and Karenni states.

Fighting between the People’s Defense Force and Burma Army that began last month has displaced about 100,000 people. The military blocked all the roads to Karenni State, stopping relief from reaching the rudimentary, overcrowded camps where food and other essential supplies are running out. It also blocked entry points to camps in Shan State.

At the same time, Burma Army is sending reinforcements to Karenni State and escalating indiscriminate shelling of villages in Demawso Township, leading to more IDPs.

Last week, United Nations in Myanmar said the Burma Army must “allow safe passage of humanitarian supplies and personnel and to facilitate the direct provision of relief assistance by the UN and its partners to all those in need in Kayah, as well as other states and regions across the country where there are urgent humanitarian needs.”

“People fleeing and those remaining in locations affected by ongoing hostilities are in urgent need of food, water, shelter, fuel and access to healthcare. The United Nations and its partners have humanitarian supplies, including food, shelter materials and other basic relief items ready to be deployed to complement the local response, which has been immediate, but insufficient to address all needs, particularly for those persons in remote locations,” the UN statement said.