(Paletwa Town, Chin State – 15 July 2020)
Internally displaced people (IDPs) and members of local communities from villages close to Paletwa Town have raised concerns that soldiers from the Light Infantry Division (LID) 11 have been looting their livestock. Sources informed CHRO that in the last month alone, soldiers from LID 11 have allegedly shot and killed more than 60 farm animals belonging to local people:
“Soldiers from the 11th LID, which based in Paletwa Town, has slaughtered more than 60 cows, goats and pigs for their food. Livestock has been taken on a daily basis for more than a month in Seint Sin Wa, An Kho Wa and See Hpa Laung villages. Sometimes, they [Tatmadaw] kill only one cow and the meat is taken to the camp. But in some cases, up to 10 cattle were shot and killed at a time, and they would only take the good meat, [delicacy] like the thigh meat and the intestines. They would leave the remaining part of the meat in the forest,” said one community member who agreed to speak to CHRO on condition of anonymity.
As villages in the area remain largely deserted, livestock is left unattended. More than 300 people from An Kho Wa village are internally displaced at Tein Let Wa village and not allowed to return, villagers from See Hpa Laung face the same problem. Sources informed CHRO that the Tatmadaw allow villagers to come and collect meat that is left spare by them in the forest but has banned them from selling the meat for profit:
“The place where most of the cows, goats and pigs were shot and killed is in the forests between LIB 289 camp on the other side of Kaladan River, east of Paletwa Town and Seint Sin village. The local people in those areas are allowed to travel to Paletwa Town only two times a week. They are not even allowed to go back and collect the remaining rice at their houses,” said another source.
Thousands of people have been facing food shortages as clashes between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army (AA) continues to block full access to local communities in Paletwa Township in southern Chin State.
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