Burma Army Attacks Terrorize Villagers in Karenni State; Rangers Provide Aid to People on the Run

September, November 2021
Karenni State, Burma

The following are reports of Burma Army attacks and Free Burma Ranger team activity in response in Karenni State. These reports are a sample of events happening in Karenni State and not a complete accounting.

5 November 2021, 0700 local time, near Khaung Ei Village, Phekon Township on the Karenni/Shan state border: 

20 civilians and members of the People’s Defence Force (PDF) were killed by the Burma Army when fighting broke out early in the morning. The Phekon PDF group was acting as security for 11,000 IDPs that had previously run and set up a camp in the hills. The Burma Army advanced on their position and attacked. The PDF, along with Karenni Army and Karenni National Defence Force (KNDF), fought back while Rangers and other workers helped the IDPs flee. The IDPs and soldiers defending them suffered heavy injuries as they held their line and eventually began retreating once the IDPs were moved and Burma Army began firing artillery into the area. The PDF and KNDF have reestablished a line to try to block the Burma Army from reinforcing troops in Karenni State, a geographically strategic operational territory for them. 

The medical team serving the 11,000 IDPs was not able to go to collect the bodies of their fallen comrades to give proper burials, and their medical camp and clinics were destroyed by Burma Army artillery. The Burma Army is occupying monasteries, schools and villages in the area surrounding them. Rangers estimate their camp will exceed 20,000 IDPs by the end of this month as many of the villages are afraid of the Burma Army movements and occupation. 

Currently 300 of the IDPs have tested positive for Covid-19 and are being separated from the main group; however, it is difficult to separate them when the Burma Army begins shelling and everyone flees. More Karenni Ranger teams are moving to the attacked area to offer support to the IDPs.

Below are pictures of villagers displaced by these attacks

September 26th, Kone Thar Village, Demoso Township

Fighting occurred between the Karenni Army (KA) and Karenni National Defense Force (KNDF) and Burma Army. The Burma Army burned down the homes of four civilians and used 120mm mortar fire to destroy the homes of others. Villagers fled into the forest and mountains. 

Free Burma Ranger Teams Response

Above: Rangers provide medical care, food relief, and children’s programs for IDPs.

On September 26th, the Karenni Ranger team sent rice and other food to support displaced villagers in eastern Dee Maw Soe near Pound Khaung IDP (Internally Displaced People) camp. Two days later, the Karenni team completed two Good Life Club (GLC) programs, one at Pound Khaung (IDP Camp 1 and the second, in the evening, at Pound Khaung IDP Camp 2. The next day, they did another program at 6 Mile IDP Camp. 

On October 2, 2021, the team went to the Ngwe Khome IDP camp, Demoso Township. The IDPs in this camp are from 6 Mile Village, Khome Thar Village, Daw Ngan Khar Village, San Taraw, and Mar Na Ploh in Demoso Township. There are 78 families, and a total population of 345 people (179 children and 166 adults). These villagers fled their homes starting on July 10, 2021, when the KA/KNDF and Burma Army fought in their villages.

On October 26, 2021, the FBR Karenni Ranger team traveled to Phu Kra Khu Village, Do Pre District in Hpruso Township. There are 25 families and 113 people in this location. The Rangers provided them with food, clothing and what little medicine they had. Many people were sick but the Ranger team did not have enough medical supplies to treat everyone at that time.

On November 1, 2021, the Karenni Ranger team went to the school in Mya Leh IDP camp and completed a GLC program. The school just opened on October 18, 2021 in the nearby village. There are 116 children in the school.

On November 2, 2021, the team went to Daw Noe Khu IDP camp and completed a GLC program and distributed food. There were 43 families and 174 people in total at that camp. The next day, the team traveled to Phu Kra Khu IDP camp and distributed food and completed a GLC program.

On November 22, 2021, the team went on a new mission to Kay Kaw in the western part of Hpruso Township. They completed a GLC and distributed food, clothing and medicine. The next day the team traveled to Doe Pho Village. There are 23 IDP families and nine local village families. 

Below are more pictures of Rangers providing medical care, relief and GLC programs for the IDPs.