This morning, 29 May, 2006, the Burma Army launched an attack from Ler Mu Plaw Camp into Muthraw District, northern Karen State. This attack is part of the ongoing offensive which started in the end of February in Toungoo District and has spread into Nyaunglebin District and Muthraw District. At the height of the attacks, the total number of people displaced was over 18,000. That number included 5,000 in Toungoo District, 11,900 in Nyaunglebin District and 3,000 in Muthraw District.
As of this report, there has been a slowing of attacks in Toungoo District and Nyaunglebin District as the Burma Army re-supplies its bases. In Muthraw District, an attack in mid-May that drove 3,000 people into hiding has stopped and most of these people have since returned home. However, with the new attack being launched by MOC 10 today, 29 May, it is not clear whether or not more people will flee.
Whenever the Burma Army attacks an area, the people flee and when the Burma Army goes back to their camps, after a certain period of time, many people will go back to their old villages even if they were burned down. Because of this, the number of IDPs fluctuates, depending on the attacks and presence of the Burma Army. The current IDP situation is as follows; Toungoo District: approximately 4,000 people in hiding. Nyaunglebin District: 8,000 people in hiding. Muthraw District: approximately 500 people in hiding. In this phase of the offensive, while the Burma Army is re-supplying and people are trying to return to their homes, the total IDP population is at least 12,500 people. This number can quickly go back up to 18,000 or beyond as soon as the Burma Army re-starts their operations in Toungoo and Nyaunglebin Districts. Also, depending on the current operation in Muthraw District
there could be up to 3,000 more people displaced there.
Thank you and God Bless you
Free Burma Rangers