By Kantarawaddy Times
The military regime’s many checkpoints across Karenni State have caused fear and disrupted the supply of vital food to towns and villages in the region.
“Traders are worried that Burma army soldiers will confiscate their goods from vehicles. Consequently, this has caused staples to rise, which in turn has increased the economic hardship of the people” in particular for the internally displaced populations already experiencing food insecurity, said U Banyar of the Karenni State Consultative Council’s Humanitarian Affairs Committee.
Soldiers have stopped vehicles at checkpoints in Phaya Phyu, Mobye and Htay Ngarlia – Yay Yo in Loikaw town to see if they have bags of rice loaded.
“A few days ago at a checkpoint, soldiers cut open a bag of rice with a knife they discovered in a vehicle,” a Loikaw resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told Kantarawaddy Times. He said they are asking drivers a lot of questions and he fears they will take away his food one day.
Soldiers have also confiscated trucks in the Karenni State capital.
In early April, soldiers arrested people transporting rice in a vehicle in Lyn Phong Lay village in Loikaw Township. Although all were released after three days, the army kept their food.
A male volunteer helping war-affected civilians in the state said it is very challenging sending humanitarian aid to the camps.
“It is really difficult to pass through the military checkpoints, but we have to try.”