|Children fleeing the most recent attacks in Mone Township. July, 2009|
New Burma Army attacks in Mone Township, Nyaunglebin District, northern Karen State, have forced over 500 villagers to hide in the jungle and has left three men dead.
On July 7 the FBR team in the area reported that the 500 villagers who were now in hiding had not been able to carry enough food and were facing shortages. They also said that heavy rain meant children were facing health problems and becoming sick. The team is giving medical treatment to the IDPs as well as giving them what clothing and shelter they can. The continuing attacks mean the IDPs must remain hiding in difficult conditions. Villagers remain constantly prepared to flee, and will continue hiding until Burma Army troops return to their camps and local resistance soldiers are able to clear landmines.
The build up to the attacks began in early June when the Burma Army began forcing villagers in the area to provide recruits or pay fines of up to 300,000 kyats (about US$250).
By mid June Light Infantry Battalions (LIBs) 351 and 599 (a total of about 150 soldiers) increased patrols on the road linking Kyauk Kyi and Mone and began the rebuilding of the road. The Burma Army shot dead Saw Maung Nyut, 48, from Paw Pi Dor village, north west Karen State on June 9 at 9am.
|Map showing area of report. July, 2009|
On that day, Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion 590 (an LIB is about 130 soldiers) went into Paw Pi Dor village with Saw Pa Lo from Paw Pi Dor and Maung Maung from Aung Chan Tha village who had been captured on March 5. The Burma Army told villagers not to leave the village and shot Saw Maung Nyut when they saw him as they were leaving the village on patrol. Paw Pi Dor is in Mone Township, Nyaunglebin District.
|Villager gathers belongings and prepares to flee Burma army attacks in Mone Township. July, 2009.|
The following day the Burma Army Infantry Battalion 53 led by Min Thu went into the village again and told them they were not allowed to leave the village to work on their fields. On June 12 the Burma Army expanded their camp at the village and forced villagers from Paw Pi Dor and Aung Chan Tha to build it. On June 12 the Burma Army forced Htee To Lo villagers to expand their camp in their village. LIB 590 has also begun work on new camps at Htee Lu Lor and Kwee Pay as a base for operations in Mone Township.
On June 30, troops from LIB 590 captured Myaung Oo villagers Tin Aye and Maung Aye and forced them to guide them in their attacks on the villagers. On July 1 LIBs 351 and 599 (about 100 men in total) ordered villager Saw Par Lo to follow them to Min Tai and on July 2 they killed him at Min Tai and returned to Paw Pi Dor village. A villager named Maung Maung was killed on June 14 by soldiers from LIB 590 at Kwey Thay Myaung.
On July 3 the Burma Army sent two more battalions (more than 100 men) to Kyauk Kyi to do further operations in Mone Township. On July 3 LIB 590 captured Myaung Oo villager Than Oo and Aung Chan Tha villager Pyu Kyai and forced them to guide them in their attacks.
On July 4 the Burma Army along with the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA – a proxy force that fights alongside the Burma Army) went to Htee Law Plo and Kaw Soe, meaning villagers from Ti Ko, Saw Kar Dor, Klaw Ki and Hti Lu Baw Hta and Nya Mu Ke, Ka Pa Hta, Na Hti Ko, Tanata and Nwa Lay Ko respectively could not leave to tend their farms. The following day villagers from Myaung Oo, Aung Chan Tha, Paw Pi Dor, Htee To Lo, Si Bin Tha, Mee Tai Taw and Mae Sa Li Kon were only allowed to work from 6am to 6pm and told if they were seen in their fields outside those times they would kill them.
|Families hide together in a nearby village after fleeing attacks. July, 2009.|
These attacks come after a period of relative quiet in northern Karen State. The large scale attacks which were seen during 2006-2008 slowed at the end of 2008. FBR previously reported on the combined Burma Army/DKBA attacks in Pa’an District which began in early June, including on Ler Per Her IDP camp.
|Villagers fleeing through the jungle as Burma Army troops attack their village.|
|Woman hides in a nearby village after fleeing attacks.|
|Sick child, forced into hiding by attacking Burma Army troops.|
Landmine Kills Young Villager in Toungoo District
A landby the Burma Army killed Saw Ghay Meain, 20, in the Saw Wa Der area, Toungoo District, northern Karen State. mine laid
Military Operation Command 5 (an MOC is made up of ten battalions) sent out Light Infantry Battalions 372 and 373 to attack this area and they laid landmines, one of which later killed Saw Ghay Meain. The Burma Army often attacks villages in this area, forcing people into hiding, then laying landmines so it is dangerous to return to their houses or gather possessions.
The MOC is quartered at Play Hsar Lo. On June 6 they went to Tha Phay Nuint village and made 15 villagers do forced labor. They also stole their possessions and took them back to the camp. Another Burma Army unit from Shan Zee Bo camp forced ten people from Shan Zee Bo village, six from Yain Sha village, six from Taw Gu village and eight from Zee Phu Goo village to do forced labor. The Burma Army regularly steals possessions and makes villagers do forced labor in many areas under their control.
The MOC 5 commander, Kaung Mya, was killed in an explosion and has been replaced by Khin Maung Sin.