Villagers Forced To Return To Karenni State

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By Kantarawaddy Times

The Military Council is pressuring civilians who have fled to southern Shan State to return to their villages, but for many of them their homes have already been destroyed by the army.

“We have grown some crops and bred some livestock here. Now we’re being forced to return to Karenni State and they have told us to take our pigs. They said they don’t want to see our face around here anymore,” a man who wishes to remain anonymous told Kantarawaddy Times.

The regime has been pushing them to return since last December, despite escalating clashes with resistance forces in Karenni and southern Shan states. While some have gone back to live in the homes of their relatives, those who can’t have been ordered to change their family registration in Shan State.

More than 250,00 people have been displaced in the two states since the civil war began over two years ago. Many people have been maimed or killed after the regime targeted them in discriminatory and indiscriminate attacks using fighter jets, helicopters and artillery strikes.

Some of the civilians are sleeping in the jungle, but most have set up camps outside the villages. Apart from donations from the Burmese diaspora, they have received very little outside assistance. Unfortunately, support is waning in 2023, while the number of those in need of emergency assistance has increased.

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