Karenni Report: Burma Army Attacks Continue to Kill, Villages are Abandoned, But the People Have Not Given Up

7 December 2022

Karenni State, Burma

Activity Summary August to September 2022 

Even as Burma Army air and ground attacks kill children, and entire villages flee their homes to IDP camps, the people continue to choose life and joy over despair: schools spring up in the IDP camps, families turn out for GLC programs full of dancing and singing, and, in one camp, a women’s soccer tournament was organized.

Still, the war in Karenni State is unabated and is being fought around the abandoned homes and in the city streets of Loikaw, Pekon, and Demoso. The Burma Army’s use of attack planes and helicopters, and mortar attacks, has left large portions of the cities destroyed. The civilian population has largely abandoned these cities and now lives in IDP camps or has moved to more rural villages. Life in the IDP camp means leaving self-sufficiency behind for reliance on outside aid because people are forced to leave fields, livestock, stores, and shops behind. This choice causes some to wait until it is absolutely necessary to flee to the IDP camps. Once in the camp, the IDPs will return to their village to gather things they need. Both the delayed fleeing and returning home for supplies can bring civilians into contact with the Burma Army, which routinely shoots on sight. In this report, the Karenni Ranger team documents nine incidents in which the Burma Army attacked civilians. The Ranger team reported the deaths of five adults and three children and the injuries of 26 people, all civilians. The use of landmines is prevalent and unexploded mines laid by both sides result in the death of children and adults. The Burma Army continues to arrest anyone they believe has ties to the resistance. An association with the resistance can lead to disappearance or execution. Three people the Burma Army suspected had ties to the resistance were sentenced to death in August. 

The Burma Army has uprooted and displaced the communities of Karenni State. The Karenni Rangers work hard with the displaced people to foster a sense of community by supporting local churches, and community centers and even organizing soccer tournaments. The Karenni Rangers completed more than 13 Good Life Club (GLC) Programs during August and September, which reached approximately 5,887 internally displaced people in Karenni State. These programs are accompanied by medical clinics for IDPs. The Rangers also use this time to evaluate the medical needs of the displaced in the camp and distribute school support to teachers who attend the programs.  On 31 August 2022, the Karenni Ranger teams distributed 27 units of medical supplies among the different ranger teams. Each team will be responsible for delivering the supplies to those in need in their area. Many Rangers are themselves displaced and their families are IDPs, and yet they continue to execute the Ranger mission to help the people and get the news out.

GLC Programs Summary

Ranger distributes snacks for lunch during a GLC trip in Maw Thi Do Village

1 September to 5 September 2022: The team completed programs in Pareltaw IDP camp, Maw Thi Do Village, and Thar Day Kho Village. More than 300 people attended these programs. Six teachers who attended the program received school support. The teachers can use the financial support to purchase the items their schools need most. The Rangers also provided medical supplies and a clinic to those displaced in this location. 

Ranger distributes rice to IDPs in Khout Ton Village during a GLC program.
Ranger explaining the prescribed medication to an IDP in Soung Yee Village. 

3 August to 29 August 2022: The team completed 11 GLC programs and over 5,600 internally displaced people attended the programs.

Reports August to September 2022

Rangers evacuated civilians just ahead of the Burma Army attack.

26 September 2022: The Karenni Ranger team evacuated civilians from the Thiri Si Village. The Burma Army began firing artillery at 5:30 am.

22 September 2022: U Hlyo, 61 years old, from Saung Kan Chan Village, Mobye Township, was killed by Burma Army artillery fired from Loikaw. 

19 September 2022: A Karenni Ranger was sleeping in his home when the Burma Army moved into the home next to his. He was able to escape without them becoming aware of his presence. 

16 September 2022: At 6am, the Burma Army, Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 422, fired artillery into the village of Moe Byal Mo. Two adults and two children were killed and 13 people were wounded, while the entire village fled.

16 September 2022: The Karenni Ranger team documented the damage in the Karenni city of Pekon. The Burma Army has been using heavy artillery, planes, and attack helicopters in an attempt to quell resistance in the area. 

15 September 2022: The Karenni Ranger team documented the damage in the Karenni city of Mobye. The Burma Army has been using heavy artillery, planes, and attack helicopters in an attempt to quell resistance in the area. 

11 September 2022: A battle that started on 8 September in MoBye continues. Over 60 people from the Burma Army have been killed and many more injured. Many houses have been destroyed. The Burma Army is using heavy air bombardments and artillery strikes to attack the PDF. 

Destroyed home in the city of MoBye, Karenni State, Burma. This city itself has been mostly abandoned and the civilian population has fled to IDP camps. When fighting ebbs civilians return to their homes to check on what remains. Many residents will return to find their homes like the one in the picture above. 

8 September 2022: A civilian father and his son were hit by bullets fired by the Burma Army. The father will recover but his 8-year-old son, Mg Kennedy, was killed. His body was recovered at 4pm that same day. 

7 September 2022: At 3:00 pm the Burma Army fired a large weapon and the round exploded near the village of Mya Le. 

6 September 2022: At 10:00 pm, the Burma Army fired artillery into Yay Ni Kan Camp (near Loi Nang Pa mountain). No one was injured, however the shelters of two IDP families were damaged. 

1 September 2022: Luis Zi, an 8-year-old boy, was killed when a mine exploded outside his classroom in Krok Khu Village. The Karenni Ranger team is developing a program to educate children about the dangers of landmines and other unexploded ordinances they may encounter. 

1 September 2022: The Karenni Ranger team supported Bishop Bachit, 82 years old. Bishop 82 has served the Thaday Kho Church in Khupra Village for 60 years. He was appointed to his position as bishop in 1987. The bishop prayed with and encouraged the Ranger team. Later the team learned his wife is bedridden and the team donated 200,00 Kyats to support the bishop, his family, and his church. 

31 August 2022: The Karenni National Defence Force (KNDF) and the Karenni Army (KA) conducted a recon mission on the Burma Army in Tay Sule Village. Sawa Rumi, a 19-year-old soldier of the KNDF, lost his leg when he stepped on a Burma Army landmine. He is receiving medical treatment at Luke Hospital.

Sawa Rumi, 19 years old, after he stepped on a landmine.
Sawa Rumi being treated at Luke Hospital.
Sawa Rumi resting at Luke hospital after being treated for his landmine injury.

31 August 2022: The Karenni Ranger teams distributed 27 units of medical supplies among the different ranger teams. Each team will be responsible for delivering the supplies to those in need in their area. 

24 August 2022 – 26 August 2022: The Karenni Ranger team organized a women’s soccer tournament in IDP camps in western Pruso. The participating teams were Sein Taung Tan, Maw Thi Do, Rae Phra, Riki Bu, Hoya Ywayuk, and Karenni State Police (KSP)/FBR. The team from Sein Taung Tan was the winner.

Group photo at the women’s soccer tournament.

25 August 2022:  Three people in Karenni have been sentenced to death by the Burma Army. These individuals were initially sentenced after the coup and accused of assassination of the Burma Army as they drove in a car near Wari Mountain. The family members of these individuals are scared. They are asking for help to strengthen and support their families. 

24 August 2022: A female soldier in eastern Demoso was carrying food to her home in Daw Kaloe Khu Village (near Hti Pwint Lake); she stepped on a land mine outside the village and her right leg was crushed.

17 August 2022: The Burma Army, Unit 66, LIB 102, shelled the village of Htee Poe Ka Loe in east Demoso at 7:57 pm. The attack injured six civilians, displaced four families, and destroyed two homes. 

The injured are as follows:

  1. Oo Byar Reh (68 years, 7 children )
  2. Oo Paul Lu (58 years, 6 children) 
  3. Saw Eh Nyar Htoo (39 years, 4 children) 
  4. Daw La Shay Moe (38 years, 4 children)
  5. Oo Byar Reh (61 years, 9 children) 
  6. Oo Hsae Reh (38 years, single). Hsa Reh was severely injured and is receiving treatment in Htee Pu Ka Loe Village. 

17 August 2022:  A Karenni civilian and farmer, Khu Phebu, living in Padodu Village, lost his cows and went to the farm 300 meters northeast of Padodu Village to find the cattle. He encountered the Burma Army, Battalion 66, and Kha La Ya 102. They shot at Khu Phebu immediately with MA1, 79mm. He was hit in the back at the shoulder and again in his arm. He ran away, escaped with his wounds, and received treatment at the Hteephoe clinic.

14 August 2022: The Karenni Ranger team delivered 500 sacks of rice for IDPs. It is all being stored in a location in Demoso. From this location Rangers will divide it and distribute it among the IDPs of the area. 

9 August 2022: At 10:30 am, the Burma Army, battalion 250, fired artillery at Tee Lone Group, Daw Parpa Village, in Loikaw. The attack came without provocation and killed a 60-year-old villager and injured two more. 

FBR medic provides care to a civilian injured in the Burma Army attack.

9 August 2022: The Burma Army LIB 102 shot several mortars to the east of Demoso on the same day two Burma Army air strikes killed a grandfather in Daw Pa Par, east Loikaw. At around 6pm, the Burma Army shelled six 120mm rounds into Htay Pu Ka Loe. Three civilians were injured and some houses were hit. The first were two brothers. The eldest brother, 20 years old, was hit in the left shoulder and the second, 17 years old, was hit below the knee. The third person was a 22-year-old girl, Oo Tay Reh. 

The Ranger team interviewed an IDP who was nearly killed by a Burma Army mortar. Her name is Koe Mar. “I sat and talked with my mom and sisters while the 120mm were landing and exploding around us. I was 15 meters away from the one that landed. After the explosion I realized I was hit on the right side of my waist, I fell down and told my mom that I was hit. My mom did not know what to do. We were all scared and frightened. Then two villagers ran toward us and sent me to the hospital by car. When I got to the hospital, the doctor removed the shrapnel safely,” says Koe Mar. She is still in the hospital, and can’t stand or sit yet. Everyone, please pray for her healing and for all people in Burma.

Koe Mar’s mother told the Rangers they didn’t have enough money for food. The Ranger team prayed with the family and then provided them with 200,00 Kyats for food. 

7 August 2022: The Karenni Ranger team joined in the opening ceremony for the Kayah Liphu Boarding house in Won Ngone Village. The ranger team supported them by providing one million Kyat. 

This home was destroyed by a Burma Army mortar attack.

1 August 2022: The Burma Army destroyed the homes in Pekon, Ward 3, in Mo Bye Township. The mortar attack occurred between 7 to 8 pm.

Thank you and God bless you,

Free Burma Rangers