Burma’s Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement says it has delivered humanitarian supplies for over 3,800 villagers displaced by a recent wave of armed hostilities in Karen State.
Local civilians from the areas around Hlaingbwe and Maethawaw fled their homes several days ago and headed to Myainggyingu, some 70 kilometres north of state capital Hpa-an, after a series of intense clashes between the renegade Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and a combined force of Burmese government troops and an ethnic Karen Border Guard Force, or BGF.
Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Minister Win Myat Aye announced on his Facebook page that the ministry was providing rice, cooking oil and tarpaulin sheets for 665 families – a total of 3,813 people – who are taking shelter at makeshift relief camps in Myainggyingu.
The minister said it also provided cash handouts to pregnant women and new mothers to help support them.
Earlier this week, the speaker of the Karen State parliament, Saw Chit Khin, an MP representing the ruling National League for Democracy in Hlaingbwe Township, said that the armed clashes had forced 2,212 individuals from 16 Karen villages to find safety in Myainggyingu.
Some displaced families are also believed to have fled to Hpa-an, but DVB could not confirm numbers.
Two weeks ago, renegade commander Maj. Na Ma Kyar was hacked to death by loggers he had detained in Kawkareik Township. His group claimed the logging operation was in its territory but under the control of the local BGF.