Military’s targeted attacks with heavy weapon shelling and airstrikes on civilians in the territory of Karen National Union have forced nearly 600,000 residents to flee home.

This interview with Saw Nanda Hsue, spokesperson of Karen Human Rights Group, is about military’s human rights violation in July and this month, using civilians as human shield, and hardships of displaced persons.

TLT:  What are situation of military’s human rights violation targeting civilians in KNU territory in July and this month?

Saw Nanda Hsue: The military is continuing its attack on civilians, human rights violation, aerial attacks, heavy weapon shelling, destroying property of villagers, their houses, schools, clinics and religious buildings as well as unlawful arrests and robbery.

TLT: Military arrest civilians and used them for human shields. Some of them have not be released. What is the remark of KHRG on this situation.

Saw Nanda Hsue: We have documented that the military is using villagers as human shields since 2021. Our recent report on the military’s human shield highlights this issue.

We found that the military columns arrested locals and forced them to serve as porters to carry their food supplies. The military largely used human shields since 2021 military coup. The military used civilians, including children and elderly persons above 60,  for human shields in the territory area of KNU’s Brigade 1. In some cases, civilians were dressed with border guard force uniform.

The military treat villagers inhumanely for human shield and place them in life-threatening positions without giving sufficient medicine, food and water. The civilians were also tortured. From the humanitarian perspective, using civilians as human shield is a kind of mental torture, and it destroys their livelihood.

TLT: Military carried out bombing and heavy weapon shelling in Battalion 3 of Nyaunglaybin district and Battalion 2 of Taungoo district in July, destroying religious buildings and houses. What is the updated situations in these area?

Saw Nanda Hsue: Offensives, attacks and human rights violation is increasing in the brigade 2 and 3. Civilians died from airstrikes and heavy weapon shelling there. Some were illegally arrested, and some others fled from homes. Armed conflicts are also occurring in also battalion  1, 5 and 6.

 TLT: Many civilians have fled from armed clashes. How many IDPs have been recorded at KNU territory at present, and what are their challenges?

Saw Nanda Hsue: Around 600,000 IDPs are talking shelters in KNU area. Pregnant women and children need healthcare services.

TLT: What is your concluding remark in this interview?

Saw Nanda Hsue: Human rights violation is severely occurring in all seven brigades of KNU territory. People are not safe due to the lack of rule of law, and they are experiencing human rights violation every day, as well as causalities. The military council is committing war crime, crime against humanity, severe crimes and international human rights violation every day. International community need to work together to take action against the military. Justice must be brought for the suffering of people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *