Monday, May 20, 2024

Burma Army Arrests Volunteers In Southern Shan State

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Junta forces are targeting volunteers helping civilians displaced by conflict in southern Shan State.

military arrest Ko Nyi Khin volunteer at Paikhun
Military arrest Ko Nyi Khin a key volunteer helping the (IDP) camps in Paikhun 15 November

The military arrested eight people, including Nyi Khin, a key volunteer helping the internally displaced person (IDP) camps in Paikhun Township (aka Pekon). Soldiers beat up him up in his home and destroyed his things before dragging him off on the morning of 15 November.

“Nyi Khin is an honest man…the IDPs will suffer a lot because he was arrested,” said a man who didn’t want to be named.

After his arrest, the soldiers rounded up the others, also from Paikhun town.

“I don’t understand why they arrest volunteers and donors. These people aren’t doing anything against the military junta,” one volunteer, who wished to remain anonymous, told SHAN, not knowing where the army had taken them.

Recent shelling by the military damaged houses and a church in Paikhun and Mobye (Mongbye).

On 14 November, junta forces abducted a youth from Kawng Hwet in Hkawng Ei village tract after soldiers stopped there the same day. Civilians who were in the village after running from previous violence fled after the soldiers arrived.

Only a handful of elderly and sick people have remained, a member of the People’s Defence Forces told SHAN. The civilian resistance group was formed last spring to fight the regime throughout Burma. The local chapter supports other groups such as the Karenni Nationalities Defence Force, which also took up arms after the coup, and the Karenni Army in their fight against the Burma Army.

Civilians affected by the violence are worried about when they’ll be able to harvest their crops, fearing that if they don’t, they won’t have rations for next year.

Hundreds of IDPs in Mongkung Township are afraid to return to their village. According to volunteers, 105 people have already returned home, but fighting between rival armed groups has prevented 327 people from Kong Lian from returning home.

”They’re still living in the IDP camp because there’s still fighting near their village,” a volunteer helping them told SHAN. ”It’s almost winter and they need warm clothes and blankets.”

The Restoration Council of Shan State and the Shan State Progress Party are fighting over territory in the southern township and other areas in the north.

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