The Border Guard Force based in Myaing Gyi Ngu area has ordered nine villages in Hlaingbwe Township, Karen State to relocate to Myaing Gyi Ngu in mid-August, according sources in the area.
Captain Pha Nwee and Saw Htun Hlaing, BGF advisory board members, issued the orders to relocate nine villages to the Myaing Gyi Ngu. The orders affected the following – villages Htee La Nae, Ta Moh Ya, Ma Ae’, Yaw Poh Hta, Pu Hsay, Tha Kwi Kla, Htee Law Thi Hta, Pway Poe Kla and Meh Poh Kla.
A Democratic Karen Buddhist Army officer told Karen News that villagers in the area are stress and in chaos.
“The order was given by the BGF’s Captain Pha Nwee and Saw Htun Hlaing. The situation is chaotic and villagers are scared to refuse the order. They dare not stay in their village. The BGF have been bombarded the villages with artillery shells. Villagers are afraid to stay, many have moved out, but some continue to stay in the village.”
Village leaders estimated that there are 800 households in the nine villages. Villagers say local leaders pleaded with the BGF to get permission for them to go back to attend farms, orchards, plantations and buffalos, oxen and cows.
Local Karen fighters say the villages are bearing the brunt of the BGF retaliation after operations by DKBA and KNLA troops in the area.
According to a local KNLA officer from Brigade 7, the combine Karen forces had stopped their operations and had retreated from the area hoping to ease pressure from the BGF on villagers.
The Karen officer explained.
“We’re not operating in the area. We withdrew our troops otherwise the BGF will relocate villagers, their crops will be destroyed or eaten by roaming buffalos and cows.”
Since late July, fighting between a breakaway Border Guard Force faction and a group under the control of the Burma Army has driven hundreds of villagers from their homes. The BGF have placed their heavy weapons on high ground and randomly fire mortars into villages.
People have been wounded and the schools been closed because of the fighting.