July 19, 2022

Media advisory by the Karen Peace Support Network

New report: SAC regime unleashes war across Karen ‘Peace Town’ region

A new briefing paper by the Karen Peace Support Network details the recent escalation of conflict between the SAC regime and Karen resistance forces in Dooplaya District, south of the Asia Highway, Burma’s main trade route to Thailand.

The Karen Peace Support Network is calling for urgent international action to reduce the ability of the Burmese military to wage war again civilians. This should include:

  • Targeted sanctions on sources of revenue.
  • Sanctions on Burmese arms brokers and international companies selling arms and equipment to the Burmese military.
  • Sanctions on the supply of aviation fuel.

International donors also need to urgently scale up humanitarian aid for those in conflict zones, directly fund local civil society organisations to provide humanitarian aid, and reduce unnecessary sourcing and reporting requirements which are not suited to providing cross border aid in a conflict zone, and result in people not receiving life-saving aid.

During the past six months, heavy shelling and airstrikes by SAC forces on both sides of the Dawna Range in Dooplaya have killed or injured 71 civilians and displaced over 86,000, many of whom are sheltering in makeshift IDP camps along the Thai border.

KPSN documents how conflict was instigated by the regime’s incursions into KNU ceasefire territories and fueled by the mobilization of thousands of SAC troops, including from bases across Dooplaya (KNU’s 6th Brigade) which were never withdrawn despite the KNU’s 2012 ceasefire.

A key flashpoint has been the Lay Kay Kaw “Peace Town”, south of Myawaddy, built by Japan for returning refugees since 2015. This flagship peace project now lies deserted and bomb-scarred, its over 3,000 residents once again fleeing for their lives.

KPSN criticizes Japan for prematurely promoting refugee return, and for providing billions of dollars in development aid to the Naypyidaw government without benchmarks of progress towards genuine peace. Japanese ODA has not only subsidized Naypyidaw’s war machine, but also funded strategic infrastructure projects, such as the East West Economic Corridor (EWEC), which have facilitated quick deployment of the regime’s troops into conflict areas. KPSN calls on Japan to suspend all ongoing ODA projects, including three bridges currently being built by Japanese companies along the EWEC.

The longer the international community fails to take action to cut off the supply of money and arms to the military, the longer conflict will last and more people will be displaced and killed. The international community knows what the Burmese military are doing and knows what needs to be done to limit their ability to carry out these atrocities. They must act now.

The briefing paper can be viewed here:

KPSN – Karen Peace Support Network

Or downloaded here.


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