Almost 100 Civilians Killed By Burma Army In Karenni And Southern Shan States

By Network Media Group
Monday, September 20, 2021

Nearly one hundred civilians were killed by the Tatmadaw during its war against the people of Karenni State and Pekon Township in southern Shan State since taking power from the democratic government about eight months ago.

Khu Koe Reh, the spokesperson for Karenni Civil Social Network (KCSN), which releases information on civilian casualties every two weeks, told NMG that 86 people were killed.

Although there were deaths in all townships in the state, most casualties were in Loikaw, Demawso, Hpruso and Bawlakhe, areas where the Tatmadaw launched large-scale offensives.

According to Khu Koe Reh, 111 people were also injured by artillery attacks and the armed forces arrested 179 people between 1 February and 12 September.

“Soldiers have arrested civilians in Loilan Lay and Pekon and used them as human shields during fighting with civilian resistance groups. They’re also used as guides,” he said, explaining that the military tortured some of those detained. ”A few weeks ago, soldiers detained civilians at a traffic intersection in Demawso town and beat them with the butt of their rifles.” The Tatmadaw forced them to work as porters.

According to KCSN, soldiers arrested Maung Gyi and Win Kyi at their farm near Shwe Pyi Aye in Pekon Township on 4 September. The couple were forced to lead them walking in front of the troops.

Tatmadaw Light Infantry Battalion 427 forced minors Persakay Leh and Parday Leh to act as human shields during a military operation in Demawso Township.

At the 6-mile checkpoint in Demawso Township, the Tatmadaw arrested two youths from Loikaw Township on 6 September. The following day, another youth was arrested at the Thabyay checkpoint.

On 10 September, the military arrested three youths from Papaw Du village at a traffic intersection in Demawso town.

On 8 September, soldiers shot dead two men on the Pekon – Pinlaung road.

When civilians are used as human shields, the army ties their hands behind their backs, Khu Koe Reh told NMG. ”I can’t imagine what would happen if KNDF (Karenni Nationalities Defense Force) engaged in a firefight with soldiers when the Tatmadaw are holding civilians captive.” The civilian resistance group has been fighting the Tatmadaw since forming in late May.