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Armed conflict in Burma -- offensives

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Description/subject: The largest body of high-quality reports on the civil war in Burma, especially focussed on the civilian victims - currently over 600 reports dating from 1992.
Language: English, Karen, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/index.php
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Individual Documents

Title: Burma's Covered up War: Atrocities Against the Kachin People
Date of publication: 07 October 2011
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "At the same time as Thein Sein’s government is engaging in public relations maneuvers designed to make it appear that reform is taking place, its army is perpetrating atrocities against the Kachin people on a widespread and systematic basis. Seven months after the November 2010 elections and four months after the convening of parliament which, in the words of the ruling generals, “completed the country’s transition to a multiparty democracy,” the regime launched a new war in Kachin State and Northern Shan State. After a seventeen year ceasefire, the renewed conflict has brought rampant human rights abuses by the Burma Army including, rape, torture, the use of human minesweepers and the forced displacement of entire villages. Human rights abuses in Burma are prevalent because of the culture of impunity put in place at the highest levels of government. The Burmese regime continuously fails to investigate human rights abuses committed by its military and instead categorically denies the possibility that abuses are taking place. Attempts to seek justice for the crimes committed against the Kachin people have resulted in responses ranging from “we do not take responsibility for any landmine injuries” to “the higher authorities will not listen to your complaint”. These human rights violations have led villagers to flee approaching troops, creating tens of thousands of internally displaced persons. The Burmese regime has refused to allow aid groups working inside the country to provide relief to the majority of these displaced people and international groups have failed to provide sufficient cross-border aid, creating a growing humanitarian crisis. While the international community “waits and sees” whether the Burmese regime will implement genuine democratic reforms, the Kachin people are suffering. The time for waiting and seeing is over: now is the time for the world to act. We call on the international community to: Demand that the Burmese regime put an end to the atrocities against the Kachin people.• Provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons and refugees fleeing • the conflict to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Support the establishment by the United Nations of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate crimes • against humanity and war crimes in Burma
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT)
Format/size: pdf (862K)
Date of entry/update: 24 November 2011


Title: THE NORTH WAR: A KACHIN CONFLICT COMPILATION REPORT
Date of publication: August 2011
Description/subject: "This is a resource compilation report which is intended for journalists, aid workers and other researchers who may be interested in the in the June/July 2011 conflict between the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and Burma's military regime in Kachin State, Burma. News stories and documents related to the conflict are categorized and reproduced or linked here, with a list of background information sources. They are in chronological order within each category. Project Maje hopes that the ongoing situation in northern Burma, including resource extraction and human rights issues in addition to the KIO conflict, will be covered in increasing depth and scope by journalists and other investigators in the future..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Project Maje
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 17 August 2011


Title: Insecurity amidst the DKBA - KNLA conflict in Dooplaya and Pa
Date of publication: 06 February 2009
Description/subject: "The DKBA has intensified operations across much of eastern Pa'an and north-eastern Dooplaya districts since it renewed its forced recruitment drive in Pa'an District in August 2008. These operations have included forced relocations of civilians, a new round of forced conscription and attacks on villages. The DKBA has also pushed forward in its attacks on KNLA positions in both districts in an apparent effort to eradicate the remaining KNLA presence and wrest control of lucrative natural resources and taxation points in the lead up to the 2010 elections. Skirmishes between DKBA, SPDC and KNLA forces have thus continued throughout this period. Local villagers have faced heightened insecurity in connection with the ongoing conflict. DKBA, SPDC and KNLA forces all continue to deploy landmines in the area and DKBA forces have fined or otherwise punished local villagers for attacks by KNLA soldiers. This report documents incidents of abuse in Dooplaya and Pa'an districts from August 2008 to February 2009..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F3)
Format/size: html, pdf (978 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg09f3.pdf
Date of entry/update: 31 October 2009


Title: Terror
Date of publication: 14 July 2007
Description/subject: Am Montag, dem 24. Januar 2000 besetzen zehn burmesische Terroristen das Zentralkrankenhaus im thailändischen Ratchaburi unweit der Grenze und nehmen Belegschaft und Patienten als Geiseln. Schnell ist in der Presse ausgemacht, dass es sich um die ‘God’s Army’ Rebellen der Zwillinge Johnny und Luther Htoo handeln muß. In einer Kommandoaktion thailändischer Spezialeinheiten werden in der Nacht zum Dienstag alle Geiselnehmer erschossen. KNLA; God`s Army; Kindersoldaten, Child Soldiers
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Burma Riders
Date of entry/update: 21 August 2007


Title: Shoot on Sight - The ongoing SPDC offensive against villagers in northern Karen State
Date of publication: December 2006
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "The Burmese army launched a large scale offensive in the districts of Toungoo, Nyaung Lay Bin and Muthraw in northern Karen State in November 2005 targeting the civilian Karen population. This offensive has been ongoing for over a year and it continues today. Villages are being shelled with mortars, looted and burnt to the ground. Crops and food supplies are being destroyed. Burmese soldiers are ordered to shoot on sight, regardless of whether it is a combatant or a defenseless civilian. As a result more than 27,000 people have been forced from their homes, either hiding in the jungle or trying to find refuge in Thailand. The Burmese army continues to increase its military presence in these areas and carry out attacks against villagers. In addition to the increased number of military attacks and militarisation of these districts, which has been ongoing for a number of years, in particular since the Karen National Union (KNU) and State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) agreed to a verbal ceasefire in January 2004, there has also been a rise in human rights abuses perpetrated by the army. These include: force labour and portering demands, land confiscation, rape and other gender based violence, looting and destruction of property, arbitrary taxation, restriction of movement, torture and extra-judicial killings. Despite the fact that this offensive has been underway for over a year now there is not a clear singular reason behind the attacks. However, a number of contributing factors have emerged: the move to the new capital Pyinmana and the establishment of a five kilometre security zone around it, the acquisition of land for national development projects, and the need to secure transportation routes to and from these sites. Additionally, the three districts targeted are considered the ‘heartland’ of Karen resistance to Burmese oppression. Despite the armed struggle though the KNU and Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) against the regime, it is the people, the civilian villagers, that pose the biggest threat to local and regional SPDC power these days. The non-violent resistance strategies, such as defying orders from the military and fleeing into the jungle rather than being controlled, employed by the villagers make them active participants in the struggle for peace and justice in Burma, not passive victims. Nonetheless, the reasons behind the offensive do not detract from the fact that the Burmese army is attacking the civilian Karen population without any form of provocation. In addition to purposely attacking villagers the Burmese army is also undermining the grassroots people’s ability to survive. The villagers in the offensive area, who are mainly farmers, were beginning to harvest their crops when the offensive began last November. As villagers had to flee to safety in the jungle, their crops either rotted in the fields or were eaten by animals, leading to food shortages. This acute food shortage will be further exacerbated next year. As the offensive continued over the past twelve months more villagers had to flee the Burmese troops. This meant that they could not prepare for next years crop. Consequently in November and December 2006 there will be no crop to harvest and food scarcity will continue next year, regardless of the political situation. Most of the 27,000 people who have been displaced have very little, if any, food. Their diets are supplemented with food that they can find from the jungle. Due to the severe landmine contamination of the areas, it is extremely dangerous to search for food. In addition to food scarcity internally displaced persons (IDPs) face serious Executive Summary Executive Summary 9 Burma Issues health issues, especially during the wet season. Malaria is prevalent, as are skin diseases, dysentery and malnutrition. It is the children and the elderly who suffer the most under the given conditions. Heavily pregnant women also face additional hardships as they have to flee the same as other villagers, walking for days and giving birth while on the run. Villagers, as a result of military attacks, are more likely to be injured by a landmine or through soldier violence, for example being shot or stabbed. Access to medical services is virtually non-existent, and what is available is gravely insufficient. As a result people often die from preventable and curable diseases and treatable injuries. The regime prevents all non-governmental organisations and United Nations agencies inside Burma giving humanitarian aid to the villagers affected by the offensive. The junta prohibits organisations traveling to these areas and documenting human rights violations and the humanitarian crisis. It is virtually impossible to bypass these regulations, as the region is very mountainous and all transportation routes, apart from walking, are controlled by the SPDC. Some community-based organizations that work cross-border from Thailand manage to bring some assistance to the IDPs, but it is only a tiny amount of what is needed. The SPDC deems the activities of these groups illegal and if the Burmese army catches workers they will simply disappear – never to be heard of or seen again. While the majority of IDPs choose to stay in hiding near their villages as a form of non-violent resistance, others decide to travel to Thailand to seek refuge in the camps along the Thai-Burma border. So far this year Thai authorities have allowed approximately 3,000 people to cross the border and enter a refugee camp near Mae Sariang, Thailand. However, the Thai authorities have not consistently kept the border open and have frequently refused IDPs entrance to the kingdom, reasoning that they are not fleeing fighting, but are merely capitalising on the resettlement opportunities that are being opened up to the refugees in the camp. As a result of the border’s sporadic closure, approximately 1,400 IDPs (a figure that is continually rising) are living in a makeshift camp along the Salween River, on the Burmese side of the border. This temporary IDP settlement receives aid from organisations working along the Thai-Burma border, at the discretion of the Thai authorities, but there are numerous protection issues associated with the camp. There is a Burmese army base that is only an hour’s walk away, making the IDPs vulnerable to a potential attack. This is the worst offensive that the junta has conducted since it joined ASEAN in 1997. However, the offensive is not an isolated event, but rather the continuation of a campaign by the military junta to control the population of Burma. Despite the fact that this offensive has been underway for over a year, the international community is yet to find a solution that will persuade the SPDC to stop their attacks on civilians. Throughout the numerous military campaigns thousands of lives have been lost – all valuable and irreplaceable."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Issues
Format/size: pdf (646K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaissues.org/En/reports/OSP.pdf
Date of entry/update: 26 January 2007


Title: SPDC military begins pincer movement, adds new camps in Papun district
Date of publication: 09 August 2006
Description/subject: "KHRG continues to monitor the activities of large SPDC military columns which are systematically destroying villages in Papun, Nyaunglebin and Toungoo districts. We have just received information from a KHRG researcher in the field that in the past week SPDC Military Operations Command #15 has launched its expected pincer operation in northern Papun district, trying to catch Karen villagers between its Tactical Operations Command #2 coming from the south and Tactical Operations Command #3 coming from the north. These two large multi-battalion columns, with several hundred soldiers each, are attempting to force all villagers out of the hills west of the Yunzalin River (Bway Loh Kloh) in northern Papun district of Karen State. Tactical Operations Command #2 has pushed north from Naw Yo Hta and has now set up a new base at Baw Ka Plaw, just north of Kay Pu; while Tactical Operations Command #3 has approached the same area from the north, coming down from Bu Sah Kee and establishing themselves at a new camp at Si Day. This pincer movement and the establishment of these two new Army camps ensure that the hill villagers in the northern tip of Papun district will remain displaced for the coming months and will lose their entire rice harvest, creating serious concerns about their food security and survival over the coming year."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-B10)
Format/size: html, pdf (459K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06b10.html
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06b10.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 August 2006