Burma Army, BGF and DKBA Human Rights Abuses Push Displaced Villagers To the Edge of Health Crisis

The Free Burma Rangers released a report documenting human rights abuses during fighting between the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) and the Burma Army and its militia, the Border Guard Force on Karen villagers.

FBR state that the villagers in the Karen National Liberation Army’s 7 brigade region have yet to find respite from the intermitted clashes between the [breakaway] Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA), Burma Army and the Border Guard Force (BGF).

FBR said both the warring faction are “guilty of committing numerous human rights abuses including forced conscription, new landmine laying, and firing upon civilians.”

The report found that despite the low level of the conflict “the displacement of the people in this area has affected various sectors of livelihood such as ability to grow crops, access to shelter, healthcare, clean drinking water and education.”

FBR said that people ran from their homes “after hearing clashes approaching or after their villages were occupied by the DKBA or the BGF. Many doubt if they will be able to return home due to the placement of defensive landmines and the possible theft of property and livestock in their absence.”

The Free Burma Rangers warned that “water pipes, food, pots, pans, blankets (strong need) and a water well are needed.” The FBR, a frontline humanitarian organization said that “there is also a need for basic medicines as pregnant women, infants and sick people are housed at the camp. The KNU has built a clinic, but its stocks of supplies remain low.”

Saw Lwin, a village elder from Htee Thay Khee village told FBR that “the most important thing for them [the displaced villagers] is water supplies, working sanitary facilities, and healthcare. Malaria and diarrhea are the most common diseases happening among them. 90 households and 503 people have moved in to our village. Their difficulties became ours as well. We help them to our best ability, and thanked the leaders for giving us additional assistance.”

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