Armed Group Accused Of Planting Landmines To Target Civilians

By Network Media Group
May 11, 2020

A Mon civil society network located in southern Burma accused an armed group of intentionally planting landmines to kill civilians so it can gain control of the land and lucrative resources.

Nai Myint Naing, the spokesperson for the network, explained “there’s no rule of law in Yayphyu.” An armed group involved in timber production is quarrelling over territory and “intentionally trying to threaten Mon people using fear.”

The network that is based in Yayphyu township, located in Burma’s Taninthari Region, issued a statement opposing landmines that have killed and maimed many civilians in recent years. At least nine Mon civilians lost their limbs from accidents in the last two years, with many occurring after they were planted in gardens, farms or on roads that are frequented by civilians.

Last March, a Mon civilian was killed and another was injured near the New Mon State Party’s (NMSP) headquarters in Ye township.

Nai Htaw Ror, who is the NMSP chairperson for Dawei district, said it wasn’t his group that planted it. “Most of the landmine victims are Mon ethnic people…we don’t make trouble for our own people.” He told NMG where the accident happened there are only the Karen National Union (KNU) and NMSP.

The KNU also denied responsibility for planting the landmine.

Last week, a man lost one of his legs after an accident near Ah Lae Sakhan, in Yayphyu township.

The Mon network said planting landmines is “cowardly” in its statement, while calling for justice for the victims.

Nai Myint Naing asked all stakeholders to meet and discuss to prevent these kinds of fatalities and injuries from happening again. “If the government, UPDJC (Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee), JMC (Joint Monitoring Committee, KNU and NMSP can meet to discuss this issue the problems with landmines can be resolved.”