Woman and Children Injured, Hundreds Fled Conflicts in Eastern Burma
02 February 2010: Just one day before Burma’s parliament was convened, a spray of shrapnel bullets fired from mortars during the fight between SPDC and DKBA on the Thai-Burma border last Sunday has injured a woman and two young boys, forcing hundreds of villagers into hiding in the jungle.
The injured include a 33-year-old mother of one-year-old baby, an eight-year-old boy and another young boy, aged 7, who is currently being treated at Mae Sot Hospital, following an ongoing fight betwen Burma Army and the 5th Brigade of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), according to the reports.
A statement released yesterday by WLB (Women League of Burma) said the victims were among a group of approximately 1,500 villagers who were hiding near the Moei river on the Thai side of the border when fighting erupted at 10am local time on 30 January 2011.
Dah Eh Kler, Secretary of the Karen Women’s Organization (KWO) said: “People beg the local Thai villagers not to send them back across the border; they know that their communities are unsafe. If there are no steps taken to better protect these civilians, they will continue to be at immediate risk of fallout from the conflict across the border.”
WLB’s statement stressed: “As the fighting continues, civilians face an uncertain future. Unable to return home, they are stuck in limbo between Karen State and Thailand. They face a protracted period of time where they are cut off from their livelihoods and are unable to access basic services.”
The WLB called on the Royal Thai government to allow civilians fleeing from the ongoing fighting to remain in temporary shelters in Thailand, and to grant the international and local humanitarian organisations access to the displaced civilians in order to provide essential assistance.
It is claimed that temporary sites were initially set up inside Thailand in November 2010 to deal with the immediate surge of civilians fleeing from fighting.
More than 10,000 civilians are currently hiding in Thailand after fighting broke out in the eastern and south-eastern regions of Karen State in November of last year. Fighting between the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and the 5th Brigade of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) started on 8 November 2010, a day after Burma’s military regime held fraudulent elections to solidify its power.
Van Biak Thang