Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Southwestern Papun District: Transitions to DKBA control along the Bilin River - KHRG

August 18, 2010

Since late 2009, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) has strengthened its presence in southwestern Dweh Loh Township, Papun District, increasing troop levels and camps, commencing gold mining operations on the Bilin River, and enforcing movement restrictions on the civilian population. Residents of the village tracts near the Bilin River and along the Bilin to Papun road, which follows the eastern bank of the Bilin River north through the centre of Dweh Loh Township (see map), have told KHRG field researchers that they have faced heavy demands for forced labour to support the increased DKBA presence, detracting from the time they can spend on livelihoods activities. Communities with a DKBA camp nearby have had livelihoods further curtailed, as DKBA soldiers have enforced strict curfews and other movement restrictions that have prevented villagers from spending sufficient time in their fields.
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