FBR REPORT: Burma Army Mortars, Captures Villagers in the Midst of Continued Attacks in Northern Karen State
Karen State, Burma
8 February, 2011

  The SPDC continue to fight the DKBA and the KNLA throughout the Dooplaya District and Paan District areas of Northern Karen State, Burma. Villagers from these areas are in the midst of the conflict and have been targets of continued Burma Army attacks. The mortaring of villages and forced labor have become common practices of the Burma Army in the region. FBR team members are actively working in the area to bring hope and encouragement to those most affected by the situation.
Map showing areas of report

Dooplaya District Situation Update:

On January 1, One villager named Maw XXX (partial name has been omitted for security reasons) was injured in fighting that broke out between the DKBA (Democratic Karen Buddhist Army) and SPDC LIB 586 (Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion) near the village of Kwee Ta Hoe , Kaw Ta Ri township. The injured man was taken by FBR team members to the border for treatment.

In many areas, Burma Army troops are guarding rice fields, making it very difficult for villagers to return. These fields, however, are often the villagers sole source of livelihood and sustenance, necessitating their retrieval.

The Burma Army also captured nine villagers and used them as shields for the fighting that occurred between DKBA forces and SPDC LIB 586. The captured villagers names are Par XXX, Saw XXX, Maw XXX, Par XXX, Par XXX, Saw XXX, Saw XXX, Maw XXX, and Saw XXX. The Burma Army also took three tractor carts, used to carry food, from the villagers.

On January 1, FBR Team members stopped in Klaw Taw to encourage IDP children.

On January 4, the team members arrived back in Cher Poe Kee IDP camp. Many of the villagers are busy transporting their belongings to the camp. Some villagers are risking the journey back to their fields to collect crops, and many more are hiding in the jungle areas close to their villages.

On January 10, at 10:00 p.m., in the district of Dooplaya, in the township of Kaw Ta Ri, Burma Army troops attacked the villages of Kanalay, Palu, and Wa Lay. The Burma Army unit that attacked these villages was LIB 587, under MOC 12 (Military Operations Command).

On January 22 and 23, SPDC Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 210, led by Commander Maw Tho, began mortaring Ta Blu Kho village. Burma Army LIB 542 entered the village on January 23.

On January 29, the Burma Army attacked U Grate Hta village. Many of the villagers and porters in the area managed to escape unharmed. However, one villager said that he witnessed the Burma Army killing two porters during the attack.

On January 30, the Burma Army fired at one FBR member as he was taking video documenting the situation. The team member was uninjured. The Burma Army continued to mortar Waw Lay village and the area around U Grate Hta.

Pa-an District Update:

There is a continuing buildup of Burma Army troops in the Pa-an District, in the area between Mae Tha Waw and Manerplaw. FBR Teams have identified the Burma Army MOC 19 camp between Thaw Lay Hat and The Roh Hta. They have also identified a DKBA base (999) located at Meh Bpa.

From December 5 to December 11, 2010, Burma Army MOC 19 mortared Chen Pyaw village. 16 families (85 people) fled the attack. These IDPs are now near the Thai-Burma border.

On December 15, 2010, Burma Army MOC 19 entered Kaw La Wah village, resulting in 13 families fleeing to the Thai-Burma border.

In December 2010, KNLA troops blocked Burma Army MOC 19 and gained access to Manerplaw. Burma Army troops have now blocked the primary road in the area and appear to be preparing for an offensive between the Mae Tha Waw and Manerplaw areas. As a result, approximately 600 villagers from Kler The Lu fled to Thailand. These refugees have now been sent back to Burma across the Moei River. It is harvesting time now, and many of the villagers have been unable to return to their crops.

In January 2011, Burma Army troops attacked K’Hsaw Wah Lay village. Burma Army forces captured villagers in nearby Papun district to use as porters for the ammunition and rations needed for the attacks in northern Pa-an District. The Burma Army has now increased their troop size to nine battalions, or over 1300 troops, in the northern Pa-an area. These battalions are under LID 22 (Light Infantry Division), and under TOC 222 (Tactical Operations Command) and TOC 223. The battalions are: LIB 201 (Light Infantry Battalion), LIB 202, LIB 204, LIB 205, LIB 208, LIB 209, LIB 357, IB 66 (Infantry Battalion), and IB 81.

Thank you for your support in helping FBR teams make a difference bringing help, hope, and love to the people in Karen State, Burma.

Thank you and may God Bless you,

FBR Dooplaya and Pa-an District Teams