July 7, 2021
The total number of those killed by SAC has reached 76, including both civilians and members of the Karenni People Defence Force. Most of those killed were civilians from Demawso Township. Apart from being killed during fighting, some were arbitrarily shot dead, some were killed after being arrested by SAC, and some were shot dead while getting food and rations for IDPs. While 76 deaths have been confirmed, the actual number of those killed is likely to be higher.
During the two weeks between June 22 to July 4, 12 people were killed, including a young man shot dead by troops of SAC LIB 422 while driving a motorbike from Moebye town to Pekhon town in the evening of June 28.
- Arrests and injury
In Karenni State the total number of people arrested since the coup has increased from 130 to 132 during the past two weeks. The two arrested were returning IDPs, despite the fact that the SAC had encouraged IDPs to return home after their June 15 ceasefire with the Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF) (negotiated by some ceasefire groups and religious leaders, under pressure from SAC).
Among the prisoners released by SAC on June 30 were 11 people (9 women and 2 men) from Loikaw prison who had been involved in anti-SAC protests.
There were 2 new cases of injury during the past two weeks, both by land mines in Pekhon township.
- Damage and vandalizing of buildings
Despite the ceasefire with the KNDF, the SAC has continued to launch attacks in residential areas. On June 25, two houses in Nan Baw Wa quarter of Loikaw town were damaged by artillery fire, and on June 26, SAC troops shot artillery into a house in 500-acre quarter in Loikaw town. Luckily, the residents of the houses had already fled, so were unharmed.
Between June 22 and July 4, at least 50 houses, mostly shops, in Demawso town were damaged by SAC troops, who broke down doors, smashed up the contents, and stole valuables.
- Mass dismissal of CDM education staff
Many education and health staff have joined the CDM movement in Karenni State. On June 26, 2021, the SAC education ministry issued a statement dismissing 526 education staff from over 100 schools in Pruso township, due to their involvement in the CDM. Subsequent announcements have dismissed 1,123 education staff from Demawso township, 78 education staff from Mae Set township, 54 education staff from Shadaw township, 152 education staff from Pasaung township and 648 education staff from Pekhon township, due to their involvement in the CDM. In total 2,581 education staff have been dismissed.
- SAC troops loot from IDPs and use them as forced labor
Since the cease-fire between the KNDF and the SAC, some villagers have returned to their homes to check on their property and try and farm their lands, but those from towns still dare not go home yet. Those who have returned are mainly men who can run away if fighting breaks out again. Most of the IDPs, especially women, children and the elderly, still fear for their lives, and remain in IDP camps. Some cannot return home, as their houses were destroyed by SAC artillery attacks.
Some IDPs from Mya Le village tract of Demawso township went back to their homes, but when they returned they were threatened by the SAC and forced to show them where IDPs were hiding. When the SAC troops found the IDPs, they looted valuables including money and jewelry from them.
SAC troops also searched out some IDP camps in Htee Po Klo village tract, and then forced the IDPs to cook and fetch water for them.
- Ongoing military aggression
The SAC has been taking advantage of the June 15 ceasefire to try and secure control of strategic areas. SAC troops patrolled into Htee The Klo village, about 10 kilometers east of Demawso town, and camped in the community clinic there. The SAC soldiers stayed at the clinic for 3 days before moving on. During that time local villagers and IDPs did not dare come and receive treatment at the clinic.
80 soldiers from the SAC, BGF (KNPLF) and (PNO/PNA) carrying out clearance operations near Loikaw clashed with KNPP troops at around 8 am on July 2, 2021, at Palao village, 13 miles east of Loikaw town. As a result, over 1,200 villagers from Palao and Daw Tayoke village have fled from their villages. On July 3, there was also fighting between SAC and KNPP troops at Nwa La Boe, 6 kilometers north of Loikaw.
During their patrols, SAC troops have looted villagers’ property, and killed their livestock. For example, in Loi Nam Pah village of Demawso township, SAC soldiers looted rice and property from local villagers.
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