The military council in the capital of Shan State, Taunggyi, has reportedly issued an order prohibiting the granting of refuge to people fleeing the border area between Shan State and Karenni (Kayah) State.
In recent days, fighting along the Shan-Karenni border has intensified and the military council has ordered (its troops) not to allow residents fleeing the conflict area pass through the towns of Taunggyi, Aungpan and Nyaungswe or let them seek refuge in religious buildings and the homes of relatives, locals said.
“The military council has instructed not to accept the registration of displaced people from Pekon and Moebye in Karenni State, and also not to let them stay in religious buildings. As for us, we escaped death and we don’t care what happens now,” said a displaced person from Loikaw.
Currently, hundreds of vehicles carrying people who fled the fighting at the Shan-Karenni border and have national registration cards for Loikaw, Pekon and Moebye are stranded on the road as they are not allowed to pass the checkpoint in Aungpan, he said.
According to a Loikaw resident, the people of Loikaw therefore remain despite the ongoing urban warfare as there is no shelter elsewhere or transportation. “At the moment there is no way out. The roads are blocked. People fled to Taunggyi this morning, but I heard that Tauggyi will not let them in. We don’t know where to go and seek shelter. Even in Nyaungshwe, people with 2/ NRCs are not allowed. No one takes us in there,” said a man trapped in Loikaw.
In most wards of Loikaw, many residents are still trapped and need help. In the city, gas stations and stores are also closed and rice is hard to find, Loikaw residents said.
“We rely on rice and vegetables that we gathered before,” said a man trapped in the town.
Since the start of Operation 11.11 on 11 November, fighting has been ongoing in several locations, including along the Shan-Karenni border, and the military has flown daily airstrikes on neighborhoods in Loikaw, residents report.
According to a statement by the Karenni Human Rights Group (KnHRG), about 40 people have been killed by artillery and air strikes by the military council across Karenni State in the past five days.
Sent by Shan Herald.