Army columns need to move back from Lwemupalaw: KNLA

Min Naing Soe

Army columns in Lwemupalaw area, Kayin State, needs to move back from the area to relocate over 2,000 IDPs that fled the fighting between the military and No.5 Brigade of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), said a commander from the brigade.

The fighting occurred as the army is building a road connecting between Khaypu and Lwemupalaw.

The army agreed to move back their troops from the area and stop the construction of the road temporarily after Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services met with Saw Mutu Say Poe, chairman of Karen National Union (KNU) at Yangon Command on May 17.

The army columns retreated from Khaypu from May 22 but only military columns moved back from Lwemupalaw. Maj. Saw from the No.5 Brigade of the KNLA said there remained a tactical operations group and a battalion at Lwemupalaw base.

Although Khaymu area locals returned to their homes, locals from Lwemupalaw area cannot do so as they are worried about their safety.

“What I want to say is the villagers are afraid to return to their homes if the army column is still present in the area. The farmers cannot work and it will create difficulty to produce food,” said the Major.