Strong Military Presence Remains in Karen State, while Burma Army continues with Attacks, Resupplies and Increased Troops
Karen State, Burma
29 May, 2012
Written by: Free Burma Rangers
In This Report:
Mergui/Tavoy District (Tenassarim Division)
On 9 April 2012, Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 593 shot at villagers returning from hunting in Ta Naw Th'ree Township, Mergui/Tavoy District. One of the victims reported that Saw Ka Sor and his five friends were shot at by Burma Army soldiers while crossing the car road at Maw Krae between Maw Hta Village and Kama Plaw Village in the Htee Mo Bwa area. None of the villagers were injured. In April, Burma Army soldiers have built a new camp in the Myin Kamp Aw (Kaw Baw) area while military resupplies continue in Ler Doh Soh Township. On 12 October 2011 in Taket Village, Ta Naw Th'ree Township, Saw Nga Twet was killed by a landmine which was planted by LIB 561. Villagers report that there was no prior warning from the Burma Army unit that landmines had been planted in the area. Two FBR teams recently went on relief missions in Ta Naw Th'ree and K'ser Doh Townships. An FBR team in Ta Naw Th'ree Township visited three Internally Displaced Person (IDP) locations and was able to treat 498 patients. There are currently multiple Burma Army units in the Ta Naw Th'ree area, including Artillery Battalion (AB) 309 and LIB 556, 557, 561, and 224. Resupply of food and ammunition continues, though there has been a decreased amount of Burma Army aggression in the area. Rangers report more freedom of movement and association for villagers in the area since the preliminary ceasefire agreement, and villagers can now openly contact Karen National Union (KNU) officials. In K'ser Doh Township, villagers are experiencing more freedom of movement as well, though military resupply continues and movement is still restricted and unsafe in the Yet Chaung, Paleuk, and Pey areas. While on mission, rangers were able to begin construction on a toilet at a school in Myitmoletkat Village that will be completed next month. The K'ser Doh team treated 180 patients in five separate IDP camps, many of which suffered from malaria and acute respiratory infections.
Mu Traw District
On 10 March 2012, soldiers from Light Infantry Divisions (LID) 11 and 77 as well as mortar and ammunition resupplies arrived in Bu Tho Township. On 18 March, while patrolling around Kay Hta Village, the soldiers captured four villagers and one village headman and stole two cases of tobacco. On 11 March 2012, Burma Army Battalion Commander Naing O arrived at Haw Ma Daw with 50 soldiers. Battalion Commander Sein May Htun arrived in the Thoo Mwe Hta area with an additional 20 soldiers. Both battalions arrived with ammunition resupplies. On 8 March 2012, Burma Army soldiers shot at Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA - pro-democracy ethnic resistance) soldiers in the Plow Ta area. On 15 March 2012, villagers from Meh Pa Village fled when Burma Army soldiers came to stay in their village. The soldiers sunk the villagers' boat containing five sacks of rice and destroyed and damaged multiple farms. On 3 April 2012 at 2:00 pm, Burma Army soldiers shot at villagers' farms in the Saw Mu Plaw area, which is located in Lu Thaw Township.
Kler Lwee Htoo ( Nyaunglebin) District
Military resupplies and troop movement also continue in Kler Lwee Htoo District. On 20 March 2012, 300 soldiers belonging to LID 66 led by Win Bo Shein arrived at Tha Byi Nyut, and later continued to Play Hsa Lo Camp. On 2 March 2012, IB 59 used two logging trucks to send food to Maw Neh Camp. On 22 March 2012, LID 101 arrived back at Muthe Camp with 1080 soldiers and 190 horses, continuing on the next day to Ler Doh Village. On same day, LIB 706 and LIB 707, both belonging to Military Operations Command (MOC) 4, left Muthe Camp with 100 soldiers in transit to Paw Kay Ko Camp. As of late March, Burma Army soldiers were in the following locations:
Taw Oo (Toungoo) District
On 5 April 2012, fighting broke out between the Burma Army and the KNLA in the Baw Lay Der area. The Burma Army soldiers were fishing outside of previously designated ceasefire boundaries when the fighting began.
Doo Pla Ya District
On a recent relief mission in Waw Ray Township, an FBR team was able to treat over 950 patients, suffering most commonly from malaria, intestinal worms and the common cold. Waw Ray Township currently has two active Burma units, IB 62 and LIB 586, both of which are headquartered at Ah Nan Kwin Camp. Villagers feel that the greatest need in the area is within the realm of education, where there is limited governmental funding for schools.
The Free Burma Rangers’ (FBR) mission is to provide hope, help and love to internally displaced people inside Burma, regardless of ethnicity or religion. Using a network of indigenous field teams, FBR reports on human rights abuses, casualties and the humanitarian needs of people who are under the oppression of the Burma Army. FBR provides medical, spiritual and educational resources for IDP communities as they struggle to survive Burmese military attacks.
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