Weekly Overview: Human Rights Situation in Mon State, Karen State and Tanintharyi Region

January 8, 2024

HURFOM, First Week of January 2024

The first week of the year in Southeastern Burma saw more violence by the junta in target areas of the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM), including Mon State, Karen State and the Tanintharyi region. The situation of human rights continues to escalate, particularly in Mon State, where since 19 December, the junta has waged widespread and indiscriminate attacks against local, unarmed civilians. On 29 December 2023, HURFOM released a statement of concern after documenting the forced displacement of more than 22,000 people, the deaths of ten and nearly two dozen injured.

The situation has only continued to worsen. According to the residents, civilians are fleeing because the junta troops are launching artillery weapons day and night into Kyone Mein village, Kaw Hlaing village tract, Thaton Township, Mon State.  More than 1,200 people live in the town with almost 200 houses. As the attacks escalate, most have left:

“They were forced to leave their homes and flee to safe places due to the constant artillery weapons fired by the junta. Now, no one dares to live in the village. Weapons have been fired almost all day, every day. There are damaged houses. The whole village has fled,” reported a local.

As a result of the constant shooting of artillery weapons by the Junta, Kyone Mein residents are hiding in safe places and Kyauk Taung Gu. They urgently need health care assistance, including essential food items.

In addition to artillery firing, civilians are being faced with torture and violence in areas where the junta is based. On December 30, 2023, junta soldiers beat a 52-year-old Mell Ta Yo villager in Kyikemayaw Township. Nai Maung Sa lost consciousness from the beating and was abandoned in a nearby rubber plantation. Villagers found him and, with the help of a local rescue team, arranged for him to get to Mawlamyine General Hospital.

“The villagers who found him were using a shortcut to check their abandoned houses. The military closed all the main roads. Nai Aung Sa was found at the plantation. He could still breathe but couldn’t speak. He was beaten all over. His condition looked very bad, so he was sent to Mawlamyine Hospital directly,” said a local source.

The military junta has reinforced their troops to regain control of Kyikemayaw Township, Mon State.

“We have been running away since last month. Only eight villagers are left in Mell Ta Yo. Armed clashes are happening daily. We don’t know why the military is angry with the villagers.”

Landmines also continue to pose a devastating threat to the lives of civilians. On December 30, 2023, a couple stepped on a landmine in In Ka Bo village, Kyike Hto Township, Mon State. The explosion killed the husband, and the wife was seriously injured. The victims, 45-year-old U Nine Win and 40-year-old Daw Mi Mi, went to a nearby pomelo plantation to collect wood about noon when they stepped on a landmine. The local rescue team sent the victims to Thaton District General Hospital, but the husband died that evening.

“Both of them were in critical condition. Their bodies were full of landmine debris. The husband died soon after reaching the hospital. His wife was sent to Yangon General Hospital. Her condition isn’t good,” said an official from the local rescue team.

According to a report by Radio Free Asia, landmines threaten more than half of Myanmar townships.


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