The following is a detailed update from relief teams on the ground in northeastern Karen State, Burma.
Kyauk Kyi Township: One villager killed, villagers flee, farm huts burned, food and other belongings destroyed
On 15 November, Saw Ler Gay, 28, was shot and killed by Burma Army soldiers near his village of Kâdee Mu Der. Hundreds of people fled these attacks into the jungle from more than 12 villages. The activity began on the first of November, when LIBs 218 and 219 under Div. 11 launched a series of attacks into Kwi Lah and Keh Der village tracts of Kyauk Kyi Township.
|Girl from Kâdee Mu Der fleeing attacks|
|Mother with baby and load from Tee Nya Dee Lay|
|Villagers eating while hiding in the jungle from Burma Army attacks (click on image to see higher resolution version)|
Attacking from their camp at Rokasoe, Burma Army troops followed the Shwegyin River north, moving through Keh Der village tract and searching for villagers and food stores along the way, and finally arriving at Kâbaw Htu camp. After re-supplying with food, the troops came back through Kwi Lah village tract on their way back toward Rokasoe.
On 12 November, as part of their strategy to make life impossible for villagers in this area, the attacking troops burned down two storage barns belonging to local villagers. More than 37 sacks of paddy rice, along with salt, cardamom, clothes, medicine, pots and pans, and other valuable belongings were either stolen or destroyed by the troops.
On 19 November, 2007, the Burma Army attacked Paw Ler Ko village; the villagers were forced to run away. One villager, 65-year-old Naw Ywa Htoo*, was shot at, chased into the jungle, and then was lost for two days without food. She was found by another villager, sick and malnourished, and taken to Hti Nya Li Day where she was taken care of by KNU medics. She told the team in the interview that the Burma army soldiers came very close to her and shot at her.
These are the villagerâs details:
|Name||Naw Ywa Htoo|
|Father||Saw Maung Thay|
|Place||Paw Ler Ko village|
*We reported Naw Nya Htoo as one of two villagers shot and killed during the Burma Armyâs attacks in November. Naw Nya Htoo was not killed, however two people were killed, one being Saw Ler Gay and the other being a local Karen resistance soldier.
|This map shows the current Burma Army units operating in northern Karen State as of early December 2007. There are currently at least 13 division-size units active in this area. There were 9 active division-size units at the height of the offensive in 2006, when more than 25,000 villagers were displaced by Burma Army attacks.|
Mon Township: One villager killed in attacks, villagers flee, forced labor and extortion, new Burma Army camp
On December 1, 2007, Burma Army troops shot dead Saw Blu Nay Moo, 23 years old, after burning down a farm hut belonging to his father, Saw Htoo KâBla.
LIB 377, with 180 men, began their attack from Kwee Di Kaw camp at 7:30 a.m., attacking Baw Gaw Kwee in Kwee Di Kaw village tract. They mortared several villages in the area and occupied Mawlu and Parbiso. From these positions there are daily clashes with the KNLA and the villages in the area have had to go into hiding and close their schools. These villages are Kyauk Pya, Tanata, Nyamuki, and Lawday.
Also on December 1, BA LIB 450, with 200 men, left Hti La Baw camp for Lodaw. They mortared the villages in the area and villagers from Thay Kay Lu, Nwa Hta, and Kaw Bi Lay Ko were forced into hiding, where they are suffering from a food shortage and health problems.
On 11 November, 2007, LIB 599 demanded 500,000 kyats per village from Nyaung Bin Tha, Mon, and Aw Law Si villages. These funds are being extorted in order to raise additional funds for Burma Army military operations. Villagers close to the Burma Army camp at Aw Law Si are also being forced to provide the Burma Army with animals for food twice a day (or to find the Burma Armyâs animals, and feed them for the Burma Army).
LIB 599 commander Tin Bo Aung also regularly demands food for his troops and animals. The extorted goods are often worth more than 21,000 Kyats each time they are demanded.
Aung Neing, a sergeant in LIB 599, is now forcing villagers to pay for the treatment of a landmine injury he sustained five years ago.
On 13 Nov. 2007, LIB 439 demanded that villagers from Ta Kaw Pwa and Ko Mi villages who grow crops during the winter must pay them 5,000 kyats per person. Troops from this same battalion demanded an additional 3,500 kyats per person while patrolling at a later time. Villagers from this area are also now being forced to provide labor twice a week to build the Burma Armyâs camp at Maw Lay.
The Burma Army has begun the construction of a new camp at Hti Day Mu Kwi and Lay Saw. There are now 200 soldiers at the site of the new camp. Construction of the camp began on 23 November.
On the same day LIB 276 from MOC 21 replaced the battalion from MOC 9 stationed at Ma La Daw camp. The next day, troops from LIB 379 returned to their camp at Tha Pyi Nyut.
On 21 November, 2007, Division 77 arrived at Shwegyin. They are expected to replace Division 11. Along with them came 250 porters, 18 horses, 50 goats, 2 bulldozers and a 105 mm gun.
Papun District: Villager killed, child blinded, farm hut burned and paddy destroyed, while other farms are abandoned
On November 18, 2007, Burma Army troops shot and killed Saw Bo Wah, an 18-year old villager from Ta Baw Ko Der. Three days later, on 21 November, the same troops burned down the paddy barn of villager Saw Wah Der, including 45 sacks of paddy. The troops had begun their attack in this area on November 17, at Pae Le Lo. Saw Wah Der is from Hti Moo Ki village.
On 28 November, MOC 16 from Wa Klay Tu arrived at Paw Ta Ka Day, forcing villagers to abandon 36 mountain paddy farms: 17 from Hti Baw Ki, 12 from Kyaw Gaw Lu, 3 from Htoo Pu Lu, and 4 from Hti Moo La.
On 19 November, 13-year-old Saw KâTray Soe stepped on a landmine while gathering bamboo soot leaves to make a roof for his familyâs house; the mine blew up in his face, destroying his eyes and injuring him in the throat. He is from Lay Kee village. The mine was laid by the SPDC two months ago during their activity in Ta Ler Ker Ko and Kaw Daw Ko areas.
Burma Army units stationed in northern Papun District, Karen State, Eastern Burma.
- MOC 1 â 7 battalions
- MOC 16 â 2 battalions
- MOC 4 â 7 battalions
- Div. 33 â 3 battalions
- Div. 88 â 7 battalions
- Southern Command â 1 battalion
Total = 27 battalions in northern Papun District
The MOC 1 commander is now stationed at Maw Pu camp in northern Papun District. There are three MOC 1 battalions stationed nearby. One at Thay Hta, one near Paw Mu Der and on at Thay Thain Mu Der. Another two battalions from MOC 1 are stationed at Ler Klay Kyo.
TOC 2, under MOC 1, is responsible for improvements along the road from Ler Mu Plaw south to Pwa Gaw and then east to their camp at Maw Pu.
MOC 16 is responsible for security along this section of the road. There are seven battalions active in the area under MOC 16. They are now planning to build a new camp in the area of Htee Moo Kee.
Div. 33 is now positioned at Muthey camp. One TOC under Div. 33 is responsible for improving the road from Kyauk Kyi to Pwa Gaw.
Div. 88 is now headquartered at Ter Ler Ker Ko, and is responsible for the construction of the new car road from Sho Kyo to Khaw Daw Ko. They are now using three bulldozers.
MOC 4 has one TOC responsible for security of road construction from Siday to Kâmaw Kyo.
Southern Command has one battalion stationed at Hsaw Hta, along the Salween River at the end of the Kyauk Kyi â Hsaw Hta road.
On Wednesday morning, 5 December, 2007, the Burma Army attacked and burned down the village of Bu Kee in Tantabin Township, Toungoo District, northern Karen State. The troops, from TOC2 of MOC 4, attacked at 10:00 am, destroying every house in the village. The coordinates for Bu Kee village are N 18 47â 48â E 096 57â 47â.
Earlier this week, on 2 December, the same troops, entered the Tha Aye Kee area shooting and mortaring villages, and burning down houses in Ka Lo Ta and EâKar Ta villages. The people from this area have all fled and are in hiding now.
Burma Army LIB 73, commanded by Aung Kah, forced 54 villagers to work on a new Burma Army camp in Ta Pah Kee area. Starting on 14 November to 20 November, 2007, villagers from Shar Shee Bo, Shee Pyu Gone, Toun Boo, and Ye Shar were forced to work on the new camp.
On 19 November, soldiers from Burma Army LIB 544, commanded by Hla Htin, stole from villagers in Kaw They Der village. One Burma Army soldier was killed in a fall, and one killed himself.
MOC 4, with LIBs 701, 702, 703, 704, 705, 706, 707, and 710 have arrived to the Kler Lar-Bu Sa Kee car road, along with units from MOC 10; to supply them, two shipments of food, of 120 trucks each, were sent from Toungoo.
On December 12, 2007, the Burma Army entered the village of Thee Kwan, capturing one villager, Saw Pa TâLah, age 30. He was tied up and beaten badly; he has not been released yet and it is not known if he is still alive. The troops are from LIB 401, of MOC 8, commanded by Tone Tone Oo,
On November 25th, DKBA 333, controlled by Moe Joe, mortared Law Pa Kee village 10 times, then occupied the village. In this area, the DKBA, units 901, 906, 907, 999 and 333 have joined with SPDC LIB 549 and IB 231, under MOC 12. Earlier, on October 27th, DKBA 907 and 999 burned down three houses in Sa KâWa village. The houses belonged to Naw Mu Naw, Naw Kan Lan and Tu Kla.
On November 22, MOC 8 joined Division 22. The battalions that came under MOC 8 are LIB 401, LIB 403, LIB 404, LIB 406, LIB 407, LIB 408, and LIB 410. Division 22 has not rotated out yet.