This News Bulletin describes ongoing fighting, displacement, landmines, porter demands and child recruitment in Hlaingbwe Township, Hpa-an District between October and November 2017.
In the second week of October 2017, fighting broke out between the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA splinter group) and the joint forces of the Border Guard Force (BGF) and the Tatmadaw in Hlaingbwe Township. Skirmishes continued throughout October and November 2017.
Villagers had remained displaced from the area since initial fighting between BGF/Tatmadaw and DKBA splinter group in September and October 2016. When returning briefly to his village in Meh Th’Waw area in May and June 2017, an unnamed male teenager was arrested by the DKBA splinter group and forced to serve as a soldier despite being underage.
BGF Battalions #1013 and #1014 demanded villagers from Kwee Law Ploh, Meh Th’Moo, Kler Day, Yaw Poh, and Kloo Htaw village tracts, in Hlaingbwe Township to serve as porters and guards in October 2017. This was very dangerous for villagers due to the presence of landmines in the area and the risk of DKBA splinter group attack.