Regime Prevents Food From Reaching Loikaw

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Since Tuesday, the junta has prevented trucks carrying food from reaching Loikaw, where it has been carrying out airstrikes and artillery attacks on civilians and resistance groups for just over a week.

”They are stopping everything going to Loikaw,” a driver told Kantarawaddy Times on condition of anonymity. He said they allow trucks going to other towns in the state to cross the Aungpan junction in southern Shan State only after a thorough inspection.

The soldiers do not allow shipments of food, warm clothes and medicines to the Karenni State capital to pass through, the driver said, but they do allow private cars and buses travelling to Loikaw as long as they do not transport these goods.

Imports from Yangon and Mandalay enter Karenni State via the Aungpa junction and pass through the southern Shan State towns of Tigid, Pinlaung, Pehon and Moebye before reaching Loikaw.

”We are facing many difficulties in Loikaw,” said one man in the capital, wondering how long the regime will continue to prevent the delivery of food and other essential rations. A week ago, the dictatorship cut off electricity and water.

“They have started practising their ‘four cut strategy’, which is unfortunately very familiar to us. They want to cut information, food, funds and recruitment (for the resistance),” said Karenni State Consultative Council spokesperson Aung San Myint.

The counterinsurgency strategy was used by the military in the 1960s to fight communist forces and has since been used against the Karen and many other ethnic groups in Burma’s border regions.

According to Aung San Myint, they have to provide 1,000 bags of rice a day to feed the more than 170,000 displaced people, who make up more than half of the 300,000 population of Karenni State. At least two-thirds of Loikaw’s 51,000 residents have fled the Burma Army offensive that began on 6 January.

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