(Paletwa Township, Chin State – 29 July 2020)
The body of a missing villager, found on 17 July 2020, has been identified as Hla Kyaw from Ton Ma Wa village, Paletwa Township, Chin State. 62-year-old, Hla Kyaw the village head man for Ton Ma Wa village had been missing since 5 June 2020 after eyewitnesses confirmed him being arrested by the Arakan Army (AA):
“Hla Kyaw, 62, a resident of Ton Ma Wa village which is about 20 miles from Paletwa Town left toward the Pyichaung [River] area in search of rice [stored on farms] for the local people from the village on 5 June 2020. The two AA soldiers arrested him as he was on his way and he remained missing for more than a month. Later, his family members found his dead body on 17 July 2020 after searching for more than a month,” said Mai Nan Wai, a spokesperson for the Khumi Affairs Coordination Council (KACC).
The KACC had informed the General Administrative Department (GAD) from Paletwa Town about the missing villager but no progress was made in locating him. Family members who had been actively searching for Hla Kyaw since his disappearance came across his body at the bank of a stream, more than 10 miles from their village:
“We also heard from Hla Kyaw’s family members that they had been informed by an eye-witness that Hla Kyaw had been abducted by two AA soldiers on June 5 on his way to the Pyichaung area in search of rice for the villagers of Ton Ma Wa,” KACC’s spokesperson said.
On 19 July 2020, Hla Kyaw’s body was buried according to Christian tradition by his family members at Ton Ma Wa village. Hla Kyaw was active in the village welfare committee and is survived by his wife, four children and two grandchildren.
12 civilians from Paletwa Township remain missing and 48 civilians have been killed since the conflict between the Tatmadaw and the AA began in 2015.
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