Soldiers looted almost all the homes in a village in southern Shan State after fighting between the Burma Army, locally called Tatmadaw, and the Restoration Council of Shan State/ Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) forced residents to seek refuge in nearby monasteries or with their relatives.
Local Shan MP Sai Pan estimated residents of Koong Nyawng Hpahsa, located in Mong Kung township, lost as much as 10m kyat (US$7,372) but at the time of press couldn’t provide an exact figure.
“More than 40 houses in Koong Nyawng Hpahsa were looted…Soldiers took away knives, clothing and solar panels from homes.”
The MP said rice, cooking oil and salt were taken, and the soldiers killed and ate all their chickens and pigs.
“They also took away beer, soft drinks and eggs from the shops. I’m speechless!” Sai Pan told SHAN.
“My house was looted by soldiers,” said a forty-year-old villager. “They took away my wife’s clothing, and they took our food.”
After Tatmadaw and RCSS/SSA leaders met to discuss ending the fighting on March 1, residents came home but fled again when fighting resumed.
Since then, they’ve returned to their village but with a Tatmadaw military column still located nearby and soldiers periodically visiting their village, they are living in fear.
Fighting in Ham Ngai village-tract, where Koong Nyawng Hpahsa is located, first started on February 27.
Sai Pan told SHAN he’s collecting information about the entire losses sustained by the village during clashes between the Burma Army and RCSS/SSA and will report it to the Shan State government and department of Social, Relief and Resettlement.
During the fighting, shells that landed in the village damaged some homes. Bullets also marred the sides of several houses.