Fears Further Military Airstrikes and Burma Army Heavy Artillery Targets Displaced Karen Villagers

Fears of Burma Army offensives along the Thai-Burma will target displaced villagers have forced them to again move in large groups in search of a safer place. The displaced villagers were hiding on the banks of the Moei River that separates the two countries, after they fled the Lay Kay Kaw district and seven nearby villages, in fear of airstrikes and heavy artillery shelling.

The displaced villagers fled the attacks with only what they could carry, leaving cooking utensils and warm clothing behind. The villagers now sheltering in makeshift shelters rely on meal packs prepared by Burmese farmers living on the Thai side of the border.

A displaced villager Daw Tin Tin (not her real name), told Karen News the conditions are made more difficult because of constant moving to avoid the Burma Army.

“Everything is now difficult for us. We have no cooking pots or plates. We couldn’t carry them when we ran. We can’t go back and we have to keep running and running. We’re grateful people give us meal boxes on a daily basis, but living like this we have no security.”

Despite food items such as rice, oil, snacks, drinking water, medicine and other necessities distributed to the IDPs by community based organisations, the displaced villagers have had to evacuate their hiding site on January 14 when the military junta used airstrikes and heavy artillery to destroy a temporary IDP camp set up by Democratic Karen Buddhist Army.

The displaced villagers taking refuge there were unable to carry supplies provided, as they ran to safety from the airstrike and heavy Burma Army shelling.

The community-based groups helping the displaced villagers, said blankets, mats, tarpaulin, plates, knives and pots are urgently needed for the relocated IDPs.

The Burma Army offensive in the Lay Kay Kaw areas, south of Myawaddy Township in Karen State, began on December 15, 2021 and has resulted in as many as 20,000 villagers being displaced.

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