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Amid ongoing military conflict in the Gyaing River region, reports of sexual abuse by the military junta surface

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Women’s activists and the Mon Human Rights Organization (HURFOM) allege that the military junta forces, which encroached the Gyaing River area bordering Mon and Karen territories, have engaged in acts of sexual violence.

On April 25th, the Zar Ta Pyin-based 81st Infantry Regiment, alongside the joint column of the Karen Border Guards (BGF), made an incursion into Kawbein, Kawsue Village, navigating through the sea route.

Nai Aue Mon, spokesperson for the Mon Human Rights Foundation (HURFOM), asserted that the troops aligned with the military junta, upon entering the region, perpetrated sexual violence, yet refrained from acknowledging it.

“We are still unsure of the exact number of individuals subjected to sexual assault. Many victims find themselves unable to speak out. The perpetrators were identified as soldiers from a battalion under the military junta’s Southeast Command. However, the specifics of the sexual violence remain obscure,” said Nai Aue Mon.

He further disclosed that local residents have been intimidated into silence. According to the Human Rights Foundation of MonLand, the military junta troops stationed in the village have consistently committed human rights violations, including arson, looting, arbitrary arrests, beatings, and killing innocent civilians.

Following the attack and capture of the Kawbein police station, the military junta in the Gyaing River area unleashed continuous fire using naval, aerial, and heavy weaponry, resulting in the tragic deaths of at least 30 civilians and the destruction of over 400 houses, including a revered monastery. Consequently, more than 30,000 local residents were forced to flee to safety.

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