Hpa-an Short Update: Hlaingbwe Township, March to October 2016

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Hpa-an Short Update: Hlaingbwe Township, March to October 2016

Published date:
Thursday, April 6, 2017

This Short Update describes events occurring in Hlaingbwe Township, Hpa-an District between March and October 2016, including forced relocation, a demonstration held by villagers and the problem of landmines.

  • Villagers in Kloo Htaw village tract and Meh P’Roh village tract were forced to relocate by the Border Guard Force (BGF).
  • The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) was blocked from accessing food by the BGF. This resulted in villagers also being blocked from accessing food. Therefore, A--- villagers held a demonstration to protest the BGF’s food blockade on June 14th 2016.
  • Villagers’ livestock stepped on landmines planted by DKBA in Hlaingbwe Township and the villagers had to resell the injured livestock for very low prices.

Footnotes

[1] KHRG trains community members in southeast Burma/Myanmar to document individual human rights abuses using a standardised reporting format; conduct interviews with other villagers; and write general updates on the situation in areas with which they are familiar.  When writing situation updates, community members are encouraged to summarise recent events, raise issues that they consider to be important, and present their opinions or perspective on abuse and other local dynamics in their area.

[2] Border Guard Force (BGF) battalions of the Tatmadaw were established in 2010, and they are composed mostly of soldiers from former non-state armed groups, such as older constellations of the DKBA, which have formalised ceasefire agreements with the Burma/Myanmar government and agreed to transform into battalions within the Tatmadaw. BGF battalions are assigned four digit battalion numbers, whereas regular Tatmadaw infantry battalions are assigned two digit battalion numbers and light infantry battalions are identified by two or three-digit battalion numbers. For more information, see “DKBA officially becomes Border Guard Force” Democratic Voice of Burma, August 2010, and “Exploitation and recruitment under the DKBA in Pa’an District,” KHRG, June 2009.

[3] Kloh Htoo Lah is under the command of Bo (Officer) Bee and is one of the three current DKBA Battalions, the others being Kloh Htoo Wah and Kloh Htoo Baw, that were formed in September 2011 and refused to transform into Tatmadaw Border Guard battalions. Kloh Htoo Baw (Golden Drum) referred to the DKBA before 2011, but was then reconfigured to have the two additional battalions as well. DKBA forces in Hpa-an and Dooplaya districts that refused to transform into Tatmadaw Border Guard battalions began fighting Tatmadaw forces in November 2010 and have been variously referred to as DKBA #907, Kloh Htoo Baw, Golden Drum, and Brigade #5.

[4] Chief of Staff and General Saw Taing Shwe aka Bo Bi