“Fighting for a future that seems lost” – Despite Many Losses, the Karenni Don’t Give Up

Karenni State, Burma

12 July 2022

“We need encouragement. We have lost family. We have lost friends. We have lost our homes. We are fleeing. The young people fighting for freedom have lost their friends, and their families and are fighting for a future that seems lost. We have lost our hearts. We have lost many things. We want to rebuild all that we lost to be better. We want to build a better education system for our children and a healthcare system for all. We have to fight for and establish a better government, a federal democracy.” – FBR Medic, Karenni State, Burma.

The war in Karenni State is part of an ongoing 73-year war in Burma. The main Karenni towns are depopulated. Services that used to be offered by the Burma government have largely been shut down by the ongoing national strike and the fact that many urban centers in Karenni State have been abandoned. However, many government functions are operated by the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) which has for years provided schools, policing, and medical care. These face challenges due to the ongoing attacks of the Burma Army.

The Burma Army attacks on unarmed civilians have resulted in many of the local population joining the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) and the Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs). There are over 250,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Karenni State – more than half the population. Civil service providers, such as doctors, nurses, teachers and aid workers have been displaced along with the general population.

The Burma Army’s attacks cause the displaced people to move constantly, making it difficult to administer services such as food distribution, health care, and temporary schools. The onset of the rainy season in May exacerbates the health crisis, as it causes spikes in diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and influenza. Immediate and mobile aid is needed.

Some health centers have been established for IDPs by health care workers fleeing from Yangon and other cities, but bombings cause them to relocate constantly. There is no consistent long-term medical care for the displaced population. Our FBR teams stabilize front-line wounded, help IDPs relocate to areas of greater safety, and provide mobile treatment points and medications to the IDP population.

The Karenni Ranger team provides help, hope, and love to those in Karenni State Burma. The FBR relief teams have been very active in the last several months. Below are their reports from the field.

28 April 2022: The FBR Karenni team conducted a Good Life Club (GLC) program at Daw Ku Khu village. IDPs and those living in the village attended.

FBR Medics provide a medical clinic to IDPs and villagers during the GLC Program

24 April 2022: At 0300 the Burma Army burned the home of a civilian in MoBye, Pekon Township, Karenni State, Burma.

22 April 2022: The Karenni ranger team provided financial support to a father whose child was injured fleeing the Burma Army. The family of seven was fleeing Burma Army attacks in December 2021. The young boy fell from a three-wheeled truck and was injured.

The father lays next to his son in a hospital bed. 

19 April 2022: 0300 the Burma Army, at Mae Salong Mountain, struck civilian homes in Nan Hpe village with artillery

Two homes in Nan Hpe village destroyed by artillery fire. 

12 April 2022 to 19 April 2022: The Karenni Ranger team conducted GLC program in Hto Khwee Village, Phu Loung village, Thar Out Village, Hsi Soung Village and Hsi Soung Village, in Pekon Township.

Children eating the lunch provided by the ranger team. 

13 April 2022: Nyein Yan Aye, known by his nickname Joe John, was killed by Burma Army shelling. Joe John joined Free Burma Rangers (FBR) in 2014 and went on his first FBR mission in 2015 as a newly graduated Ranger. He will be greatly missed. (Link to Report)

12 April 2022: The Free Burma Rangers Karenni Team reported an airstrike. The Burma Army attacked Demoso with two fighter jets which made 6 or 7 runs.

10 April 2022: Burmese Army attacks Naung Pale village, Demoso township. The Burmese army launched artillery fire continuously. The attack killed one and injured 8-9 people individuals from Karenni National Defence Force (KNDF), Karenni Army (KA), and Peoples Defence Force (PDF)

FBR Ranger provides medical treatment.

10 April 2022: Burmese Army attacks Naung Pale village, Demoso township. The Burmese army launched artillery fire continuously. The attack killed one and injured 8-9 people individuals from Karenni National Defence Force (KNDF), Karenni Army (KA), and Peoples Defence Force (PDF)

9 April 2022: The Burma Army shot Par Sakwar La while he was riding on the back of a motorcycle. He and his friend were going to Thone Yeik Kho village to provide the IDPs with relief supplies. His friend was able to escape. His buried body was discovered after the Karenni Nation Defense Force cleared the area. His friend who was driving escaped.

7 April 2022: The FBR Ranger team provided financial relief and support as well as prayers and encouragement to the soldiers who lost limbs. The soldiers in this hospital are all recovering from amputations. Bwe Mue our team leader said “we saw the spirit of determination in their eyes.” He went on to thank the donors who support his team and their good work.

April 2022: The Burma Army burned two houses from Ngwe Taung Ywar Thit Village.

3 April 2022: At 0100 Burma Army used continuous artillery fire to destroy Daw Sal village located in eastern Ngwe Taung. No civilians were injured but many houses were destroyed.

2 April 2022: FBR Karenni Pekon teams provided raincoats and food to IDPs displaced from Li Woe Village (Near Nanmekhon). They have resettled in the jungle near Daw See Ei Village located in western Demoso. IDP Population is 22 households and 83 people.

1 April 2022: A villager from Kwine Ngan Village who lives near the local church was injured. The Burma Army was targeting the Church and it was destroyed. The 50-year-old villager is receiving treatment at a local clinic.

1 April 2022: The FBR Karenni team partnered with the KNDF to complete a GLC program. Four villagers attended the program Htee Wah Khaw village, Saw Lal village, Lu Dae, and Hpa Wal village. There were 350 children and 120 adults.

27 March 2022 to 28 March 2022: The FBR Karenni Team completed a Good Life Club (GLC) program and medical clinic in Be Tu (Down) Village and Be Tu (Up) Village, Phekon Township.

FBR Ranger medic consults IDP family. 
Children getting ready to assemble to GLC bracelet each bead has a different color and meaning. 

19 March 2022: The Burma army burned civilian houses in Byaphyun village.

16 March 2022: The Burma army burned civilian food supplies in Soung Kan Village close to Moe Bye.

15 March 2022: Fighting in Demoso, Oo Khu Re village resulted in the death of 1 KNDF (Karenni National Defence Force) soldier and injured 8.

Wounded Karenni Soldier being treated by FBR Medics. 

15 March 2022: Members of the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) recover unexploded ordnance.

500-pound bombs are dropped by Burma Army airplanes. This one didn’t explode on impact and was recovered by KNDF soldiers.

14 March 2022: At 1:00 am the Burma Army shot a mortar into Pasaylar Village close to Mya Ley.