Landmine Injuries On the Rise in Northern Shan State

Thursday, January 30, 2020

At least 10 people have been injured by landmines in northern Shan State this month, local sources said.

According to Mai Sim Shein, who is in charge of the Oum-Tamou social organization’s information department, the victims are local villagers from conflict-affected areas.

“Local people are suffering from landmine injuries in this conflict-affected area. Many local villagers stepped on landmines in this area,” he told NMG.

A Lashio Township man from Kyaukphyu village forced by the Burma Army to work as a guide and porter stepped on a landmine while carrying supplies for the military on January 28. He reportedly lost his right leg.

Similarly, a mother and daughter were injured in a landmine blast while searching for firewood in Mong Ngaw sub-township yesterday morning, Mai Sim Shein said.

“The daughter was critically injured. She suffered injuries to her legs, knees, thigh, and ribs. Shrapnel parts hit her right ribcage. The mother suffered injuries to her calf and thigh. Her injuries are not so critical,” the Oum-Tamou spokesperson said.

Lway Chi Sangar, who is the spokesperson for the Ta’ang Women’s Organization said that the government, army and ethnic armed organizations should provide compensation or free medical treatment to landmine victims.

“The number of landmine victims increases everyday… Some landmine victims cannot work again. Therefore, we want compensation or some assistance for the families of landmine victims,” Lway Chi Sangar told NMG.

Due to frequent landmine blasts, locals in northern Shan State have been afraid to tend to their tea farms. They have demanded that armed organizations not plant landmines on or near roads, near or in villages or farms.