Burma Army and Arakan Army Accused of Violations Against Chin Civilians

A human rights organization has accused the Burma Army and an ethnic armed group of abuses and violations against civilians in Southern Chin State.

In its report, The Chin Human Rights Organization warned that recent fighting between the Arakan Army and the Burma Army was putting civilians at risk with both sides alleged of perpetrating human rights abuses.

The report, Armed Conflict in Paletwa, documented that at least 350 civilians displaced by the conflict, half of whom are children, were also trapped and urgently needed food and medical attention for malaria.

On the 28 March a patrol of 40 Arakan Army occupied the village of Pyin So after a fight with Burma Army soldiers, forcing civilians to porter their supplies and detaining others.

Villagers reported being terrified of leaving their homes and at least one was reported as missing after going hunting in the local forest.

“This is yet another case where ordinary civilians, this time Khumi Chin indigenous people, bear the brunt of armed conflict in Burma and suffer human rights violations,” said Rachel Fleming, Advocacy Director at CHRO, “The long‐standing pattern of abuses hasn’t stopped. In fact we see it escalating in the Paletwa area.”

Chin State is Burma’s poorest State and Paletwa is one of Chin State’s poorest areas. In a 2011 report the UN stated that 73 % of people live below the poverty line, compared with the national average of 25 %.

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