Ongoing Combat Operations by Military Council Lead to Relocation of IDPs in Nyaunglebin District Karen State

According to reports from those aiding internally displaced people (IDPs), the ongoing military operations by the troops of the Military Council in Nyaunglebin District, a territory of the 3rd Brigade under the Karen National Union (KNU), have forced the displaced individuals to relocate once more.

A Karen social worker, who assists internally displaced people (IDPs), reported that the military council troops are currently engaged in combat operations in Mone, Hsaw Hti, and Kyaukkyi townships within Nyaunglebin District. As a result, the IDPs in the area are encountering additional obstacles as they are compelled to relocate to alternative locations.

According to statistics gathered by civil Karen organizations, the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Nyaunglebin District, which is under the control of the Karen National Union (KNU), has surpassed 150,000 since the military coup took place until May 2023.

“The situation has worsened. The troops from the Military Council, who conducted the combat operation, are not only setting houses on fire, but also causing harm to people. As a result, when IDPs are forced to relocate, they face additional danger, if they encounter attacks in nearby areas. Furthermore, they are now grappling with the impacts of adverse weather conditions, making the situation even more difficult to cope,” he said.

According to a local Karen social group official, the IDPs are facing a severe shortage of shelter, and they are also in dire need of food assistance. Distressingly only approximately 200 individuals out of every 1,000 affected people are currently receiving aid.

Furthermore, the Karen social worker highlighted that the displaced IDPs require medical support due to a rise in illnesses and diarrhea caused by the effects of climate change.

“The IDPs are living in different places without proper shelter, facing hot and rainy weather which makes many of them sick. The children are especially vulnerable, suffering from diarrhea due to a lack of clean drinking water. Since the IDPs are scattered and not in one location, it’s difficult for health officials to reach all of them, leaving them in a difficult situation,” added the Karen social worker.

Saw Doe Doh Eh K’lu, a medical trainer from the Karen Department of Health & Welfare (KDHW), shared that a mobile team has been established to deliver medical care to the IDPs. This team adjusts their movements based on the security situation in various areas.

“In the 3rd Brigade, we have established a mobile team to assist the IDPs. We have successfully reached numerous locations where they are situated. However in certain areas, combat operations occasionally take place, and if the road conditions are unfavorable, there are instances when we have to wait before proceeding,” he told KIC.

Saw Doe Doh Eh K’lu also mentioned that since it’s the start of the rainy season, the IDPs taking shelter in the forest and mountains must take precautions careful dengue fever and malaria which is frequently caught during this season.

On May 10, in a military operation conducted by the troops of the Military Council, Nyuaung Pin Thar Village in Mone Township, Nyaunglebin District, witnessed a tragic incident where 20 civilians, including children, were burned to death.

Additionally, on May 9, local villagers reported that nearly all the houses in Lelwainggyi Village, Kyaukkyi Township, were set on fire and destroyed.

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