ICC Note: The Karen are largely Christain.
CRISIS IN KAREN STATE , BURMA , CONTINUES TO ESCALATE
AS THOUSANDS MORE FACE ATTACKS
(CSW) The Burma Army is continuing its attacks on civilians in Toungoo District, Karen State, Burma, as it appears poised to unleash a fresh offensive against civilians in Papun District. Tens of thousands more could be displaced.
The total number of Karen people displaced in Western, Northern and North-western Karen State is now over 16,000, according to the Free Burma Rangers.
The Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) reports that at least 27 Burma Army battalions are now poised to destroy hundreds of villages in the Papun hills. This, the KHRG claim, would doubtless lead to the forced displacements of tens of thousands more.
In a recent report, the KHRG emphasised that the current offensive, the worst since 1997, is not simply counter-insurgency. Please note that this is not an offensive against Karen resistance forces, and there has been very little combat, the group states. These are attacks against undefended villages with the objective of flushing villagers out of the hills to bring them under direct military control so they can be used to support the Burma Army with food and forced labour.
A Karen National Union (KNU) district leader told the Free Burma Rangers: The dictators want to destroy the Karen people This is the main reason for their offensive.