Junta Soldiers Using Harvesters to Gather Crops from Fields of IDPs in Bago

The Military Council has deployed harvesters in the fields owned by displaced farmers with the intention of harvesting the rice crops , according to local residents from Nanza Village Tract and Talaingkhin Village within Kyauktaga Township, Nyaunglebin District, Bago Region.

After a clash between the Junta forces and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) joint forces in Nanza village in July, the Military Council troops set fire to the village houses and occupied the homes, forcing the residents of Nanza village and nearby villages to flee their homes.

After most residents had fled, one local resident noted that in September, that the military had positioned harvesters in the vicinity of fields in order to harvest crops owned by farmers.

“The villagers refrained from harvesting their crops because of the dangerous security conditions in the area. The military brought in harvesters, but the harvesting process is still pending. The KNLA joint forces immediately opened fire when the Military Council troops arrived in the area, which has deterred them from conducting the harvest themselves. When they do enter, they end up harvesting everything. Some farmers are even considering burning the fields where the military intends to harvest,” explained the local resident.

The district’s farmers have also expressed their concerns regarding the escalating costs of the resources needed for rice cultivation, which is a major occupation for the local community. They are grappling with the growing difficulty of conducting their business due to the low selling price of rice, and the logistical difficulties involved in transporting the harvested crop.

On the afternoon of October 22, the KNLA joint forces initiated an attack, utilizing drone bombs, on the Military Council troops who were encroaching on public property near Phoeta village. This led to casualties among the Military Council troops, which triggered airstrikes. This has once again forced the residents to evacuate the area, according to sources on the ground.

The Military Council troops stationed in Nanza village then placed hundreds of landmines in both Talaingkhin village and Nanza village. This resulted in numerous injuries among individuals either while attempting to clear the landmines or accidentally stepping on them, as reported by an anonymous woman.

A local told KIC, “When the military entered the village and subsequently withdrew, they planted landmines within the village and along the retreat path. In Talaingkhin, a man stepped on a landmine on the 25th, resulting in the loss of his leg and arm. Over the past months, landmines have caused injuries to both children and women. The heinous placement of these landmines has had a devastating impact.”

In Nyaunglebin District, a territory of the KNU 3rd Brigade, the local community is grappling with the consequences of soaring commodity prices and a deteriorating socio-economic environment, exacerbated by the military conflict that unfolded following the coup. more, the Military Council’s imposition of blockades, along with human rights abuses and violence, has also led to loss of lives in the region.

Human rights violations committed by the Military Council against the people of Myanmar has been escalating since the coup d’état. This was underscored in a new human rights report submitted during the 54th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council held on September 26.

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