By Network Media Group
February 2, 2023

A male Karenni IDP named Maung Saw Reh has lost his right leg after stepping on a landmine in Loikaw Township, Karenni state.

Volunteers who are providing humanitarian assistance to IDPs in the area reported that the man stepped on the landmine in Dor Tahay village of Htee Sel Hker village-tract which is located in the eastern part of Loi Lin Lay town.

“We received a phone call around midnight telling us that an IDP had stepped on a landmine. It’s really difficult to travel in the area, so we were unable to pick up him from the village that night. First thing the next morning we went to pick him up, and took him directly to Loikaw Hospital,” a male humanitarian volunteer (source 1) told NMG.

Maung Saw Reh stepped on the landmine around 6 p.m. on 30 January on his way back to the IDP camp after working on a nearby farm. He had been taking shelter in the IDP camp at Dor Tahay village since earlier in January after clashes broke out in his home village Dor Ta Yoe. He didn’t have enough food rations in the IDP camp, so he went to work at a nearby farm.

The humanitarian volunteer (source 1) said that following the amputation of his leg Maung Saw Reh’s medical condition is now stable. Even though he is now in a stable condition he will remain in hospital for follow-up observation. The volunteer (source 1) said that Maung Saw Reh is in need of financial assistance to cover his medical fees.

“He is an IDP, he needs aid. He needs money to pay the medical fees to the hospital,” he (source 1) told NMG.

Many IDPs have taken shelter in Dor Tahay village, but even then the situation is not totally safe. Clashes often occur near Dor Tahay village and shells frequently land in the village. Sporadic fighting has been happening in the area of Dor Tahay village since August 2021. In August and September 2021, armed clashes displaced over 800 people from the area, and Burma Army soldiers arrested 11 villagers from Kun Ner and Dor Tahay villages, nine of whom are still missing today.

Local humanitarian volunteers reported that in the month of January 2023 at least four civilians have been killed and at least 15 civilians were injured by Burma Army shelling and landmine explosions in Karenni state.