Interview with Saw Nanda Hsue, the Advocacy Coordinator of Karen Human Rights Group

The joint resistance forces fought against the military and its border guard force near Shwe Kukko Myothit in Myawaddy Township, Kayin Stat, beginning 5 April, forcing thousands of civilians to flee from their homes.

This interview with Saw Nanda Hsue, the Advocacy Coordinator of Karen Human Rights Group is about armed clashes near Shwe Kukko Myothit, difficulties of IDPs and their needs.

 TLT: Could you explain about the armed clashs near Shwe Kukko Myothit and the difficulties of local people in this area?

Saw Nanda Hsue: The major conflict in Kawkareik Township has started since 25 March between the joint forces of Karen National Union and the People Defense Force and 275 Light Infantry  Battalion. The military randomly fired heavy weapon shells as usual, damaging local houses, while the villagers fled from their homes to other places such as into the forests and in the cities. Random fire of heavy weapon shells and airstrikes are major security challenges for the civilians. As conflicts are taking place in many areas, the number of displaced persons has increased and more humanitarian assistance is needed for them.

 TLT: Could you mention the number of displaced persons from the armed clashes in Shwe Kukko, Myawaddy, Kawkareik and Kyaidon areas, as the as the number of IDP in KNU area?

Saw Nanda Hsue:  It is still difficult to get the exact number of IDPs. They are spreading across the areas. We have many difficulties to reach them. We cannot collect the numbers in Kyaidon in Kawkareik as the clashes are intensifying there. In KNU’s brigade 4 and 7 areas,   IDPs are staying in different area. We cannot identify the updated numbers until now although there were 500,000 to 600,000 in the past.

TLT: In conclusion, what do you want to say about IDPs and additional remarks?

Saw Nanda Hsue: Long-term IDPs need humanitarian assistance. They are experiencing the lack of rights to security. They have no access to vocational works. They cannot go freely. Airstrikes, random firing of heavy weapon, targeted attack on civilians, arbitrary arrest and murders are human rights violation and committing war crimes. These are breaching international humanitarian law. They will work to ensure these offenders bear responsibility and accountability for the offences they committed. We will try to seek justice from international community for the victims.

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