There are now over 1,000 Karenni IDPs and 1,000 Karen IDPs on the Karen andKarenni border, just inside northern Muthraw district, Karen State. This is due to ongoing attacks by the Burma Army.
The Burma Army is concentrating on clearing all Karenni refugees out ofsouthern Karenni State and is burning rice barns, chasing civilians out oftheir villages and laying landmines around the abandoned villages. TheBurma Army has crossed over to the Karen State side of the border and chasedthe villagers of Ka Lae Lo, Lay Wa, Say Ba Ti and Marmee from theirvillages.
They burned down 2 rice barns at Ka Lae Lo village and planted a landmineon the main trail out of Ka Lae Lo about 500 meters from the village. OnJanuary 7 at 11.45 (Burma Time), a 17-year-old boy stepped on a landmine(Burma Army mine MM2 or the same type Chinese manufacture), outside of KaLae Lo village and lost his leg from the knee down. A FBR team who wasnearby interviewing the villagers whose rice barns were burned along withanother KNU medic responded and applied first aid. An emergency amputationwas conducted and the boy was stabilized and then carried for 4 days to amobile clinic. He is alive and is recovering.
On Jan 8, the same FBR team witnessed the Burma Army burn down a villagersrice barn (Yu Hae Daw Ko village farm), across the river in Karenni State.Karenni villagers fleeing the attacks of the Burma army reported that 3persons had died of starvation inside Karenni State and that many more weretrapped in the jungle north of the Mawchi- Toungoo road. An unknown numberof Karenni IDPs have fled to Toungoo District of the Karen state.
On 26 December 2003, the Burma Army ordered all Karenni villagers north andsouth of the Mawchi road to relocate to Mahntahlayn near Pasaung (on thewest bank of the Salween river), or be shot on site. On 29 December theBurma army began to force these villagers out of their villages.The largest concentration of IDPs who have fled these attacks are in thenorthern Muthraw district, where 995 Karenni IDPS and 678 Karen IDPs are inhiding together. Rice is running out and although there is a relief teamproviding emergency medical assistance, medicine will run out in 2 weeks ifthere is no resupply.
Karenni have reported that the Burma Army is building a new road from Mawchisouth east to Htee Lay Kee in #1 township of #2 district to serve the newWolfram mine there. The Burma Army has forced the villagers of #2 and # 3townships of District 2 Karenni to relocate along the Mawchi- Toungoo roadand to porter for the Burma Army as well as to build a new army camp 1 milewest of Mawchi at Kaw Ku. This started on December 10, 2003. Also startingon this same date, 80 Karenni women and 40 Karenni men have been forced tocarry supplies for the Burma Army from Mawchi to the Karen- Karenni border.The Karenni also report that the Burma Army has also brought 1,000 newsoldiers up from the Kaukkyi area (Naunglybin District, Karen state), toreinforce these operations. The Karenni say the Burma Army is takingadvantage of the Karen unofficial ceasefire to concentrate their forcesagainst the Karenni.