Ottawa, Myanmar’s military has laid landmines in the conflict-torn Kaya region and surrounding villages near the border with Thailand, causing several casualties. Amnesty International gave this information. According to the human rights group, its researchers who visited the area found that at least 20 people were killed and many maimed by landmines planted around people’s homes and churches.
Researchers spoke to villagers in an area where the military has been fighting ethnic Kare armed groups since the military took control of the country in February 2021, ousting Myanmar’s democratically elected government.
Various international agreements, including the ‘Ottawa Convention’ (1987), have banned the use of man-made landmines, which have killed and maimed thousands of people worldwide. Matt Wells, Deputy Director of Crisis Response at Amnesty International, said in a statement: ‘The use of landmines by the Myanmar military is despicable and brutal.
While such weapons have been banned around the world, the military has placed them in people’s verandahs, homes and even around staircases and churches. According to Amnesty’s report, landmines have been laid in about 20 villages of Kaya.
The report supports allegations made earlier by ethnic groups. The human rights group Kareni alleged earlier this month that military forces were laying landmines in villages and settlements in Kaya. The United Nations Children’s Fund also reported last month that many children have been killed and many maimed by landmines and unexploded ordnance in many areas of the country. Most of these children were from Shan State in northeastern Myanmar.HS1MS