Mongpaw Farmers Fear Heightened Violence Amid Harvest

By Network Media Group
Monday, May 9, 2022

Villagers are growing concerned after escalating clashes between the regime and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) threaten to disrupt the harvest of their sugarcane in Mongpaw area, northern Shan State.

Recently, the MNDAA attacked the Burma Army’s Light Infantry Division 99 (BA) near Mai Hpang in Muse District, according to a local woman who spoke to NMG on condition of anonymity. Fortunately, none of the villagers were injured as both sides fired artillery at each other continuously for two hours.

So far, no one has fled the area, but residents are concerned about how much time they have left. Farmers are preparing to harvest their sugarcane, but in the face of sporadic violence, they are anxious to stay in the area or travel to the border to sell it to China.

“Without security, we are forced to live very carefully, harvesting our sugarcane when the fighting stops and hiding when BA comes to our area,” said a Mongkoe man who asked that his name not be published.

During a battle on 27 April in Ho Kang, an artillery shell that hit a sugarcane field caused a fire.

The woman said: “I think about 50 acres of sugarcane were destroyed by the fire caused by the shelling, but the BA didn’t allow villagers to extinguish it. They have no compassion for the people. Even though they say their army is the people’s army, in reality they are the enemy of the people.”

Villagers are worried about the shelling of their villages and farms, but at the same time they do not want to leave their houses and see their lives turned upside down.

With BA troops staying in Mai Hpang, locals are watching the situation, anticipating further violence.