Attacks on villagers, ongoing fighting and displacement in Hpapun and Toungoo districts from January to April 2018

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Attacks on villagers, ongoing fighting and displacement in Hpapun and Toungoo districts from January to April 2018

Published date:
Friday, May 18, 2018

This News Bulletin describes road construction, attacks on villagers, fighting and displacement in Bu Tho and Lu Thaw townships, Hpapun District, as well as Thandaunggyi Township, Toungoo District between January to April 2018.

  • 2,295 villagers from Hkay Poo, Saw Mu Plaw and Ler Muh Plaw village tracts in Lu Thaw Township, Hpapun District were displaced due to Tatmadaw troop movement and fighting that broke out between the Tatmadaw and KNLA in March 2018. Tensions escalated because the Tatmadaw wanted to upgrade a road, and deployed a large number of soldiers in a KNU delimited area without getting the KNLA’s consent.
  • On February 23rd 2018, Tatmadaw Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #607 under the command of Military Operations Command (MOC) led by Major Paing Soe Thein opened fire at KNLA Company #1 under KNLA battalion #5 led by Major Saw Lay Ywa Moo at 4:00 PM in Kan Ni Chaung area, Thandaunggyi Township, Toungoo District.
  • 800 Tatmadaw soldiers from Toungoo, Nyaunglebin and Hpapun districts cooperated to upgrade a dirt trail into a vehicle road from Ler Muh Plaw to Hkay Poo village tracts. This road helped connect Hsa Law Kyoh army camp and Htoh Muh Pleh Meh army camps to the area. The road will likely serve military purposes.
  • On April 5th 2018, Saw O Moo was shot dead by Tatmadaw Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #351 at 5:10 PM, while he was driving back home along with the KNDO Deputy Commander Bo Hser at Htee Hsee Hta area. Furthermore, two villagers from A--- village were deliberately shot by LIB #585 under MOC #13 on February 12th 2018 at Sgoh Hkoh area, near B--- village. They were attacked while crossing a Tatmadaw road to buy food in Nyaunglebin District. [1]

Footnotes

[1] This News Bulletin was written by KHRG office staff and is based on information from a community member from Hpapun and Toungoo District who has been trained by KHRG to monitor local human rights conditions. It summarises information from two short updates, two incident reports, two situation updates and one interview received by KHRG in March 2018. In order to increase the transparency of KHRG methodology and more directly communicate the experiences and perspectives of villagers in southeast Burma/Myanmar, KHRG aims to make all field information received available on the KHRG website once it has been processed and translated, subject only to security considerations. For additional reports categorised by Type, Issue, Location and Year, please see the Related Readings component following each report on KHRG’s website.

[2] On October 15th 2015, after a negotiation process marred with controversy over the notable non-inclusion ofseveral ethnic armed groups and on-going conflicts in ethnic regions, a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) was signed between the Burma/Myanmar government and eight of the fifteen ethnic armed groups originally invited to the negotiation table, including the KNU, see “Myanmar signs ceasefire with eight armed groups,” Reuters, October 15th 2015. The signing of the NCA followed the January 12th 2012 preliminary ceasefire agreement between the KNU and Burma/Myanmar government in Hpa-an. Karen civilians and the KNU have more recently expressed their concerns about the lack of progress in moving from a ceasefire towards genuine political dialogue. See, KNU Chair Highlights Weaknesses In The NCA During Anniversary Celebrations, Karen News, October 2017 and NCA signatories urge govt to reboot peace process, DVB, October 2017. In February 2018, two additional armed ethnic groups signed the NCA under pressure from the Burma/Myanmar government.

[3] As per the 2012 preliminary ceasefire agreement between the KNU and the Burma/Myanmar government, the Tatmadaw are only allowed to operate and travel up to 50 yards from either side of roads that connect their army camps through KNLA territory, and only within a 150 yard radius around their own army camp.

[4] This information was taken from unpublished reported. .

[5] This information was taken from unpublished report.

[6] This information was taken from unpublished report.

[7] This information was taken from unpublished report.

[8] The information was taken from an unpublished report.

[9] This information was taken from unpublished report.

[10] This information was taken from an unpublished Incident Report.

[11] For detail information about NCA code of conduct see “THE NATIONWIOE CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE UNION OF MYANMAR AND THE ETHNIC ARMED ORGANIZATIONS” Myanmar Peace Monitor Organisation, 2015. 

[12] For detail information about NCA code of conduct see “THE NATIONWIOE CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE UNION OF MYANMAR AND THE ETHNIC ARMED ORGANIZATIONS” Myanmar Peace Monitor Organisation, 2015. 

[13] This information was taken from “IDPs in Lu Thaw Township, Hpapun District urge Tatmadaw to withdraw army camps (May 2017)” KHRG, September 2017.

[14] On January 12th 2012, a preliminary ceasefire agreement was signed between the KNU and Burma/Myanmar government in Hpa-an. Negotiations for a longer-term peace plan are still under way. For updates on the peace process, see the KNU Stakeholder webpage on the Myanmar Peace Monitor website. For KHRG's analysis of changes in human rights conditions since the ceasefire, see Truce or Transition? Trends in human rights abuse and local response since the 2012 ceasefire, KHRG, May 2014. In March 2015, the seventh round of the negotiations for a national ceasefire between the Burma/Myanmar government and various ethnic armed actors began in Yangon, see “Seventh Round of Nationwide Ceasefire Negotiations,” Karen National Union Headquarters, March 18th 2015. Following the negotiations, the KNU held a central standing committee emergency, see “KNU: Emergency Meeting Called To Discuss Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement And Ethnic Leaders’ Summit,” Karen News, April 22nd 2015.

[15] This information was taken from unpublished report.