Seventy Seven Women Killed in KNU Territory since the Military Coup

The Karen Women Organization (KWO) has compiled a list indicating that 77 women were killed in the Karen National Union (KNU)-controlled area as a result of airstrikes and artillery shells fired by Military Council troops during the military coup.

According to the KWO list, between February 2021 and February 2023, a total of 272 people were affected, including 77 women killed and 195 injured. Among those affected were 27 girls under the age of 18.

More have been killed during the March and April 2023 but this data has not been included.

Naw K’nyaw Paw, Secretary of the Karen Women’s Organization, told KIC.

“When we examine the casualties of this conflict, it becomes clear that the military is not only using airplanes to launch attacks, but also firing artillery shells into villages from their encampments. As a result innocent civilians in the surrounding areas are being killed and affected, with women and children bearing the brunt of the suffering,” stated Naw K’nyaw Paw, Secretary of the Karen Women’s Organization, told KIC.

According to the KWO’s list, the 5th Brigade in the Mutraw District and the 6th Brigade in the Doo Playa District were the most affected among the women. The Military Council’s airstrikes and artillery shells were particularly intense in these areas. The KWO also reported an increase in women casualties in early 2023 in the 3rd Brigade in the Nyaunglebin District. and the 2nd Brigade in the Taungoo District.

According to the KWO, following the military coup, the Military Council troops who launched combat operations in the KNU-controlled area have been increasingly using women as human shields.

The KWO also reported that women in the KNU-controlled area are not only experiencing a higher number of deaths, but their rights are being violated to a greater extent than before.

“Since the coup d’état, the number of women losing their lives has increased drastically, and pregnant women and newborns have been left without access to the essential medical care they need. When families flee from the conflict, they have to consider the well-being of their children first and foremost. These actions are a clear violation of human rights.

Therefore it is crucial that the international community applies pressure to hold them accountable,” emphasized Naw K’nyaw Paw.

According to the KWO’s list, a total of 261 women and men were killed in the territory controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU) from February 2021 to 2023 after the military coup.

In addition, the Burma Women Union (BWU) has released data indicating that the number of women arrested and killed across the country in April 2023 has sharply increased.

The BWU has published data on women, indicating that from February 1, 2021, to April 2023, a total of 3,390 women were arrested, 819 were convicted, and 513 died.

Following the military coup, the armed conflict in the KNU area intensified, resulting in a higher number of civilian casualties and an increased number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who fled their homes.

According to the list published by the Karen Peace Support Network (KPSN), the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the KNU area has increased to over 500,000 from 2021 to 2023, based on the records of organizations providing assistance to IDPs.

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