Tension between soldiers from the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army and Border Guard Force troops has forced at least 50 villagers from Mae Tha Waw village, Hlaingbwe Township to seek temporary refuge across the border in Thailand.
A Mae Tha Waw villager explained their situation to Karen News.
“We have fled from our village on February 19, during the night. People say the situation is not good to stay. All the village schools are closing now.”
Villagers say they are now taking refuge with relatives or friends on the Thai border and have yet to receive any humanitarian support.
According to a DKBA soldier from Maw Tha Waw village, on February 20, a BGF sniper shot and wounded a DKBA major at his camp compound in the Myaing Gyi Ngu. A DKBA soldier told to Karen News that recent clashes have created added more tension to an already tense situation.
“We have our orders to shoot at BGF soldiers if they go through our territory. We’ve defined our no-go line starting at the waterfall near Mae Tha Waw village and will shoot if they cross that line.”
The DKBA source warned that their soldiers based in the conflict area are now on emergency alert.
“The fighting probably will happen at any time as the BGF have also prepared their soldiers. The BGF soldiers are going to be busy if they do not return our weapons that they recently took from us.”
On 19th February, a BGF Battalion 1011 attacked the DKBA in the Myaing Gyi Ngu area and disarmed 23 fire guns. The DKBA launched a counter attack against the BGF battalion on the same day killing five BGF soldiers.
The Commander of the Karen National Union Brigade 7, Brigadier General Saw Jonny said the “the fighting is not a concern of ours, it is happening between soldiers under the command of the Myaing Gyi Ngu monk, [also known as U Thuzana].”
According to the new DKBA structure, there are two military strategic units known as Klo Htoo Wah and Klo Htoo Lar operating to the DKBA Klo Htoo Baw Headquarters. The Klo Htoo Wah strategic unit led by Colonel Saw Kyaw Thet and active in the Kawkariek, Myawaddy and Kyarkdon areas and Major Saw Beeh’s fighters operate in the Hlaing Bwe and Myaing Gyi Ngu area.
The DKBA’s Klo Htoo Baw Headquarters recently reached a ceasefire arrangement with the Burma government and on Novermber 2011 at Pa-an Town.