Short Update | Hlaingbwe Township, Hpa-an District (March to October 2016)
The following Situation Update was received by KHRG in November 2016. It was written by a community member in Hpa-an District who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. It is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.
This Situation Update [was documented] from March 4th, 2016 to October 10th, 2016 in Lu Pleh [Hlaingbwe] Township, Hpa-an District.
The armed groups in Lu Pleh Township, Hpa-an District are the KNLA [Karen National Liberation Army], the BGF [Border Guard Force], government military [Tatmadaw] and Battalion Kloh Htoo Lah of the DKBA [Democratic Karen Buddhist Army] which is also known as Bo Bi’s troops. The conflict occurred between Bo Bi’s troops and the BGF in Kloo Htaw village tract and Meh P’Roh village tract. The BGF blocked the DKBA [from accessing] food which also blocked villagers from accessing and transporting it. In response, A--- villagers held a demonstration on June 14th 2016.
According to information gathered in the area, the BGF and the Tatmadaw were planning to attack the DKBA on September 4th 2016 to remove them from Kloo Htaw and Meh P’Roh village tracts. They [the BGF and the Tatmadaw] want to have them [the DKBA] removed from the village tracts within a month. All villagers who lived in Kloo Htaw and Meh P’Roh village tracts were forced to relocate by the BGF and to resettle in Kaw Taw [Myaing Gyi Ngu] Town.
In the same month, fighting broke out on September 10th 2016. [Before the fighting] the DKBA had built [their army camps] in Kloo Htaw and Meh P’Roh village tracts. Wa Kluh Loo, Htee Yer Kloh, Kloo Htaw, Htee Wa Hkaw Hta, Htee K’Neh Hta army camps were situated in Kloo Htaw village tract. Htee Kloh Thaw Hta, Guh Thaw Poo, Ler Klah, and Yeik Ka Ko army camps were situated in Meh P’Roh village tract. Paw Hta, also known as K’Law Kwee, was the place where the DKBA’s leaders had lived. The DKBA had built their army camps and had taken control of ten places and had planted landmines close to their army camps. Before this, the DKBA had only been active in two village tracts: Kloo Htaw and Meh P’Roh village tracts.
There are 15 villages situated in Meh P’Roh village tract, consisting of [censored for security] households, and 11 villages situated in Kloo Htaw village tract, containing [censored for security] households. Some villagers, who live in Kloo Htaw village tract, did not relocate to Kaw Taw Town, but the villagers near the DKBA’s army camps had to relocate. The villagers who lived close to the DKBA army camps faced difficulties because the DKBA planted landmines [near their army camps]. Livestock such as cows, buffalo, goats, and pigs stepped on landmines, which resulted in villagers having to sell their livestock for very cheap prices.
In September 2016, the villagers who lived in Meh P’Roh village tract and Kloo Htaw village tract left their plantations [due to the fighting]. Some of their plantations and schools were damaged from the fighting that occurred between the DKBA, BGF and the government military.