KWO Message: On-Going Use of Rape by Burma Army

16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women

KWO Message: On-going Sexual Violence by Burma Army

During this current 16 Day Campaign to increase awareness about Violence Against Women, KWO feels obligated to raise our voices about the on-going use of rape and other forms of violence against women by the Burma Army.

In Burmese military operations in Arakan State over the past months, there have been consistent reports received of widespread, systematic sexual violence against Rohingya women by Burma Army troops. In a little over one month, 192 reports have been received of incidents of rape committed by Burma military. We are deeply pained by these reports, which revive memories of similar horrors endured for decades by women in our communities at the hands of the Burma Army. Other reports continue to emerge of the widespread use of torture, unlawful killings, and disappearances suffered by the Rohingya people at the hands of the Burma Army soldiers. Cases of 428 deaths, and 192 disappearances of Rohingya people have been documented. Our hearts go out to the Rohingya women and their families at this time.

We are further saddened by the NLD government’s denial of these reports of sexual and physical violence by Burma Army troops. We expected the Army to deny the reports, as they always have, but we did not expect the NLD to do the same. We had higher hopes also from Nobel Peace Laureate, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. In 2011 she said “Rape is used in my country as a weapon against those who only want to assert their basic human rights, especially in the areas of the ethnic nationalities. Rape is rife. It is used as a weapon by the armed forces to intimidate the ethnic nationalities and to divide our country.” So we had such hope that sexual violence by Burmese soldiers would not be allowed to happen if DASSK was in power, or if it did happen, she would quickly take action, or speak out against it. We see now that these were empty political words.

In June 2014, Burma signed the “Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict”. There was a lot of media publicity, and the Burma government smiled with Hollywood movie stars in London under the limelight of world attention. We wonder when will be the right time for Burma to act on their promises. There are 12 commitments in that Declaration they signed and none of them have been honoured as yet. Burmese soldiers continue to rape with impunity. How are signatories to the Declaration held to account?

From 2005 to 2016, eleven women’s organization from Burma, published at least 33 separate reports on the violence against women perpetrated by the soldiers of the Burma Army. All of this evidence has been denied by the Burma Army and Burma governments. Denial, then impunity, is the pattern of behavior we have observed for generations. Is it possible all these women are lying? Or could it be true that soldiers of the Burma Army are aggressive and abuse their power and are not held to account?

Burma Army soldiers are well-trained and well-equipped. They have jet fighters bombing villages in Kachin State; there are many officers; a chain of command; penalties for disobeying orders, like most armies in the world. For Burma Army soldiers to rape with impunity, on this scale and for this length of time, it requires the collusion of the whole national military hierarchy. When soldiers rape and nothing is done, their commanders are also guilty. When nothing is done by commanders, no order disseminated that rape will not be tolerated, the whole army and the national government are all guilty.

In honour of the courage of women in Myanmar, we ask Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD government today, to make a simple nation-wide announcement: “Sexual violence is prohibited to members of the Mynamar Army. Any Myanmar soldier found to have committed this crime, and his commanding officers, will be severely punished.”

KWO Message International Day to Stop Violence against Women

kwo-message-on-going-use-of-rape-by-burma-army

Follow up Updates on KWO Need Assessments in Htee Thay Khee and Naw Hta Villages

KWO conducted a need assessment in Htee Thay Khee and Naw Hta, between the 18 – 20 Sept 2016. The total number of IDPs is 530 and they are from Ler Peh Dea,Jay Baw Klo, Thay Kaw, Poe Chit Lea, Nya Mer Tay Hta, Oo Moo Kee and Mae Wah village.The latest number of newly displaced people in Htee Thay Khee is 146 people from 25 families, Naw Hta is 193 from 30 families and in Mae Law Hta is 16 people from 3 families and Mae Tha Waw is 175 people from 38 families.

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The villagers are in urgent need of food, clothing, pots, pans, plates, plastic sheets, water containers, shoes, blankets, mats, mosquito nets and other personal hygiene packages. For the moment this displaced people received some dried foods and clothing from the individuals donation. KWO is coordinating with other Karen CBOs and individuals to response to this emergency situations.

There has been serious fighting in the Mae Tha Waw area of Hpa An District. The Burma Army-proxy Border Guard Force (BGF) attacked a faction of the DKBA and since then the conflict has been going on throughout September.

 

If you interested to contribute please contact KWO at kwocentral@gmail.com or call KWO Emergency Relief Contact Person Naw Paw K’Yeh Moo at 66  857309056 for more information. 

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Naw K’nyaw Paw, Secretary of KWO Interviewed by RFA Karen Language TV Program Regarding “21st Century Panglong Conference”

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On 15th-16th July, 2016 , Karen Peace Support Network(KPSN) successfully conducted meeting with a total of approximately 30 participants to discuss about strengthening peace support network within Karen community.

Most of the discussion based on the current political issues and peace process updates including the new civilian government of Burma announcement on conducting “21st Century Panglong Conference”.

After two whole days meeting , KPSN came up with priority issues and specific action plans which will strengthen and support the peace process and ensure the voice of Karen community being heard in “21st Century Panglong Conference”.

KWO Statement on International Women’s Day

Statement (International Women’s day

For International Women’s Day (2016 March) in Burmese

International Women’s day Statement in Karen Version