Regime Kills, Loots Civilians With Impunity In KNU Territory

By Network Media Group
Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Human rights violations against civilians by the Burma army have increased dramatically since the coup. Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) spokesperson Saw Nanda Hsue said arbitrary killings and arrests of civilians, as well as looting of homes and businesses, have gone up in Karen National Union-held areas from 2022 to 2023.

“When a column enters a village, Burma army soldiers steal valuables from the houses before burning them or otherwise destroying them,” he said, explaining that this has been happening a lot in Brigades 3, 5 and 6 of the armed wing of the Karen National Union, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA).

“When there is fighting near a village, villagers are arrested, tortured or killed” and “they often kill villagers”, Saw Nanda Hsue explained.

According to the Free Burma Rangers, a group providing humanitarian aid to civilians, junta soldiers murdered 17 people, including 7 children under 10, and burned their bodies, after suffering heavy losses fighting the KNLA in Htantabin Township, Bago Region on 10 May.

Saw Nanda Hsue said regime soldiers force civilians out of their homes, other times they abduct them and use them as human shields. Many civilians were killed by the frequent artillery strikes and by jet fighters and airships.

“This is a violation of international human rights and also a war crime,” he pointed out, demanding for the global community to take action by imposing an embargo on aviation fuel and full sanctions on the regime. KHRG also calls for support from international donors and their host countries to provide humanitarian assistance to the many civilians who have been affected by the war.