|Area of Report (+ click to view lager image)
|Saw Eh K’nyaw, 7, after being shot (+ click to view lager image)
On June 18, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and the Burma Army shot five villagers in Bray Day (also known as Paw Ler Loh) village, eastern Karen State, killing one of them.
|Naw Wee Shi Paw, 36, being treated by medics (+ click to view lager image)
Saw Toe Lo, 70, was killed in the attack in the village in Bu Tho Township, southern Papun District. The villagers had already buried Saw Toe Lo by the time the FBR team arrived
Naw Wee Shi Paw, 36, Naw Ma Htit, 60, Saw Eh K’Nyaw, 7, and Saw Boh Heh, 38, were all injured.
|Grave site of Saw Toe Loe, 70 Naw Ma Htit, 60, shot in the head (+ click to view lager image)
Naw Wee Shi Paw was shot eight times in the head and arm in the attack, which was carried out using both light machine guns and grenade launchers. Saw Eh K’Nyaw was shot seven times, including in his face, knee and chest
According to the FBR report, the villagers were in front of and inside the house when the attack began. When it started, the villagers shouted out to the DKBA and Burma Army soldiers, “We are not Christians!” But the attack went ahead regardless.
|Livestock killed by attacking DKBA troops (+ click to view lager image)
DKBA Role Increasing as Attacks Continue
The increased activity of the DKBA in recent months appears to be the result of an SPDC policy to strengthen the DKBA as a proxy force used to carry out its attacks. Their aim is to crush the will of the people to resist, and defeat the pro-democracy KNU resistance. By forcing Karen villagers into this force, the Burma Army hopes to not only boost the number of soldiers fighting on its behalf, but to fuel inter-religious animosity and use intra-ethnic warfare as a means of crushing the will to resist.
The DKBA was formed in 1994 after a split from the Karen National Union and is looking to increase its control over areas of Karen State in alliance with the Burma Army. The DKBA has engaged in widespread and systematic human rights abuses towards this effort, which have been well documented by FBR teams and other human rights organizations. It is currently carrying out widespread forced conscription and forced labor in the areas under its control and has joined with the Burma Army in the recent attacks on the IDP camp at Ler Per Her in Pa’an District, just to the south of Papun District.
FBR teams have also reported that DKBA troops will likely join the Burma Army in attacks in parts of Nyaunglebin District and northern Papun district, two areas where they have not historically operated. The DKBA is now moving from Tha Bo to Muthey, in Nyaunglebin District. FBR previously reported new Burma Army attacks in Mone Township, northern Nyaunglebin District in early July, which forced over 500 villagers to hide in the jungle and left three men dead.
New Camps and Forced Conscription
In Bu Tho Township, Papun District, the Burma Army is building camps in Mae Myea area, at Wa Klu Ko, Ter Per Pa and Wa Tho Bu. Also two camps in the Mae Ku area at Mae Ku Ta and Tee Do Ta.
|Burma Army Camp at Paw Kkay Ko, Papun District (+ click to view lager image)
On July 12, the Burma Army demanded that every village in the Mone plain areas to send 60 men to be trained as militia. Similarly, starting in July, the Burma Army forced 30 men from every village area in the Ler Doh plain areas in Nyaunglebin District to attend military training. After training, 15 men combine with Burma Army soldiers and patrol for one to four months before exchanging with the other 15 recruits.
This policy mirrors a DKBA forced recruitment strategy in Thaton District, where every large village must send five men to become soldiers, every medium-sized village must send three, and every small village must send two. Villages that do not send the recruits face a severe fine.
Relocation, Forced Labor and Extortion
On May 18, commander Pa Na Di from DKBA 666 Brigade demanded the relocation of Lui Kee, Kler U Nga, and Nga Per Lay Koh villages to Tha Per Pa village. He threatened to burn the people’s homes down if they did not immediately relocate.
On May 9, soldiers from DKBA 666 Brigade entered the area of Nga Kee Lu village and attacked three of the villagers there. Saw Mo Shi, Saw Pah Pye, and Saw Pa Day were each hit “so many times that they couldn’t even count”.
On May 10, DKBA 666 Brigade soldiers entered Tha Per Pa village and assaulted some of the villagers. Saw Bu Hae was hit in the head with a rifle and slapped. Saw Pa Eh was kicked in the face. Saw Pa Ray was slapped three times. Saw Pa Chi was punched five times in the face and hit in the back three times.
On May 11, DKBA “Ka Saw Wa” Brigade and Burma Army LIB 103 extorted goat meat, pork and more than 50kg of rice from villagers in Tee Doh Hta. On 11 May, the “Ka Saw Wa” commander and LIB 9 commander forced extorted two goats and 28 chickens from villagers in Mae Ngo Hta.
On May 12, these same troops forced five people from Mae Ngo Hta village to carry rice from Mae Ngo Hta village to Ma Taw village. On 12 May, a commander under DKBA 666 Brigade demanded five gold rings, five earrings, one gold necklace and 300,000 Kyat (approximately US$250) from Saw Kae Der, and one radio, 50,000 Kyat (approximately US$42), one long rope, a bag of rice and valuables worth 500,000 Kyat (approximately US$417) from Saw Ka He.
On May 12, a commander under DKBA 666 Brigade demanded 5 gold rings, 5 earrings, 1 gold necklace, and 300,000 Kyat from Saw Kae Der, and 1 radio, 50,000 Kyat, 1 long rope, a bag of rice and valuables worth 500,000 Kyat from Saw Ka He.