Tatmadaw Uses Civilians As Human Shields During Offensive in Bago Region
By Network Media Group
Thursday, July 1, 2021
Thousands of civilians afraid the Burma Army will use them as human shields are fleeing to Nyaung Lay Pin District, Bago Region.
According to Saw Eh Star from Karen Social Association, the Tatmadaw—as Burma Army are called locally—detained civilians from Shwe Kyin (aka Hsaw Hti) Township, in an area where Karen National Union (KNU) Brigade 3 are also based.
The entire population of Wah Mee Kho village (over 200 people in 40 households) and 20 households or half the population of Thit Khawng Chaung village in Bago Region have sought refuge from the Army, he said. From these two villages, Saw Eh Star said there are “more than 300 people fleeing their homes because of the Burma Army’s call for porters”. Over 500 have fled Bin Bang, Win Maw and other villages that are located in the general vicinity.
Between June 24-25, Burma Army LIB-402 soldiers abducted thirteen villagers from Thit Khaung Chaung he said to use as human shields during an offensive in Wah Mee Kho village tract. The military released eleven but kept two as prisoners.
Since the Army took over the country, fighting with the ethnic armed organisations is increasing. According to the United Nations, there have been an estimated 230,000 displaced since the February 1 coup. There have been 177,000 affected in Karen State, 103,000 in June alone.
According to National Unity Government and activists, the Tatmadaw has detained many civilians to use as human shields during its war against the ethnic armed organisations. Across the country it is also committing many other atrocities against civilians.