Tatmadaw Destroys Food Destined for IDPs in Southern Shan State

By Network Media Group
Monday, June 14, 2021

Tatmadaw soldiers set fire to a convoy carrying urgently needed food and medicine for villagers displaced by fighting in southern Shan State.

“I think volunteers planned to send the food to IDPs (internally displaced persons) at Anauk Padaung,” said a volunteer helping Karenni IDPs in Moe Bye.

After passing Loi Yin Mingalar Road, the Army stopped the vehicles and set fire to food and medicine at about 10am on June 11. According to the volunteer, the military destroyed 80 bags of rice destined for 500 people.

There are about 100,000 villagers displaced during the fighting between the military and People’s Defense Force that erupted in southern Shan and Karenni (aka Kayah) states last month. The IDPs, who have little food and medicine, are sleeping under simple shelters during the rainy season. Volunteers daring to bring them aid are stopped and even attacked by Burma Army soldiers.

Last week, the United Nations (UN) in Myanmar said it is “concerned about the rapidly deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Kayah State and other areas in southeastern Myanmar”.

“People fleeing and those remaining in locations affected by ongoing hostilities are in urgent need of food, water, shelter, fuel and access to healthcare,” the UN statement said, calling on the military to “allow safe passage of humanitarian supplies and personnel and to facilitate the direct provision of relief assistance by the UN and its partners to all those in need in Kayah, as well as other states and regions across the country where there are urgent humanitarian needs.”

Violence, travel restrictions enforced by the military and poor road conditions continue to prevent desperately needed supplies from reaching the IDPs sleeping in the jungle.

A person living in Pekin Kaw Khu camp said: “We want authorities (Burma army) to stop shooting at IDPs and other civilians, including the volunteers carrying food to IDPs.” The displaced villager also wants the Burma Army to reopen roads leading to the camps allowing vehicles carrying food to pass.