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HomeNewsRampant Destruction and Displacement Continue in Southeastern Burma

Rampant Destruction and Displacement Continue in Southeastern Burma

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Since the military coup on February 1, 2021, over 200,000 civilians have been displaced, seeking refuge in the jungles and remote regions of Karen State, Mon State, and the Tanintharyi region. Recent weeks have seen a concerning rise in the abduction and torture of these displaced individuals by various battalions of the Burma Army.

According to the Human Rights Foundation of Monland’s (HURFOM) monthly data report as of September 4th, Karen State has witnessed the displacement of over 8,000 individuals, while Mon State and the Tanintharyi region have reported more than 4,000 and 9,000 newly displaced individuals, respectively.

In various target areas, such as Karen State, Mon State, and the Tanintharyi region, civilians have suffered greatly. Karen State has witnessed 12 injuries and 4 deaths, while Mon State has reported 10 injuries and 3 fatalities. In the Tanintharyi region, 16 people have been injured, with 5 losing their lives, according to the report.

In the last two weeks of August, the military junta joint troops such as the Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 408 and 409, as well as the Artillery Battalion No.304, arrested more than fifty civilians as human shields and released them when they retreated. However, approximately ten residents were abducted and taken to the Yebyu police station.

As of the second week of August, fourteen homes in Ayekani village and two houses in Wazun Taw village Yebyu Township were burned down, and about 140 houses were also burgled, and many were destroyed.

While the crime rate soars alongside escalating conflict, the junta is ransacking the homes of displaced villagers. More than two hundred houses forcibly departed by IDPs in Yebyu Township were looted and destroyed, and crimes were being committed continuously by the military junta troops and the militia group under them, according to the report source.

During the last week of August, the HURFOM continues to report increasing cases of injustice in Southeastern Burma. The situation’s urgency demands action and intervention by the international community, especially as vulnerable communities suffer from socio-economic instability. It has become extremely difficult for people to survive at the junta, which wages their offensives on largely unarmed people.

Even places of worship and religious practice are being targeted. Monasteries have traditionally served as safe havens, with monks often protecting those fleeing junta-sponsored violence. However, the military is now reinforcing and mobilizing its presence in villages between Ye and Thanbyuzayat Township in Mon State. Soldiers are currently stationed at the monasteries within these villages. This development has not only eliminated a source of security but has also instilled new fears among villagers. The heavy presence of Burmese troops has raised serious concerns about the possibility of armed clashes.

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