Volunteers are risking arrest delivering urgently needed supplies to civilians who fled offensives by Burma Army after fighting broke out with a civilian defence group in Kayah (aka Karenni) State.
“We travelled secretly to bring assistance for internally displaced persons (IDPs). It was raining, making travel difficult, and the Burma Army blocked all the roads,” a Tai Youth Yangon member told SHAN. “They need food, medicine, and plastic sheets. We reached the IDP camp with the help of a local guide.”
There are over 50,000 villagers displaced by fighting between Karenni People’s Defense Force (KPDF) and Burma Army that started about a week ago.
Tai Youth Yangon wants the military to stop blocking humanitarian assistance to IDPs in Kayah State. The group cooperated with Tai Youth Network (Japan) and Tai Students’ Union to raise funds to help 2,726 IDPs living in 12 camps in the state.
Following the formation of Pa-O National Defense Force (PNDF) on May 29, residents of Hsihseng said Pa-O National Organization (PNO) is deploying more troops near the town, located in southern Shan State.
PNO is cooperating with the Army against the consent of the Pa-O people, a PNDF statement said. It warned if it continues to defy the people’s wishes the civilian group can not guarantee the safety of the ethnic armed organization or its member’s properties.
“After news leaked that PNO is helping Burma Army attack a civilian force in Kayah State, they are concerned of being attacked. It is the reason they are reinforcing troops in the area,” a man from Hsihseng told SHAN, asking for his name not to be published. He explained they sent troops to the western side of Hsihseng town close to the border of Shan and Kayah states. The man heard that PNO is recruiting soldiers.
Over the last week, Burma Army clashed with People Defence Force and and Kayan New Land Party (KNLP) in Soung Nan Khe village, southern Shan State. KNLP was a ceasefire group that transformed into a People’s Militia Force. Recently, it started fighting with the military.