5,000 flee military raids on villages in Myanmar’s Sagaing region

It’s the second time in just over a month that junta raids forced an evacuation of Monywa township.
By RFA Burmese
2024.04.19
5,000 flee military raids on villages in Myanmar’s Sagaing region Civilians flee Myanmar junta raids in Monywa township, November 2022.
MonywaAmyintRoadStrike

Nearly 5,000 villagers in central Myanmar’s Sagaing region have fled their homes after junta troops conducted raids in Monywa township, home to the region’s largest city, residents told RFA Burmese.

They are the latest to be left homeless by the three-year conflict in the country, where more than 2.8 million people are displaced and in need of humanitarian assistance amid access challenges, according to the United Nations.

On Wednesday evening, approximately 150 junta troops entered eastern Monywa township from neighboring Ayadaw township, prompting the evacuation of thousands of villagers from Kyauk Kar, Hta Naung Win and Ywar Ton, according to residents of the area.

A resident of Hta Naung Win, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to security concerns, said the column of troops carried small arms and heavy weapons.

“The junta troops spent a night in Kyauk Kar village and [Thursday] morning they advanced to Hta Naung Win, where they remain stationed,” he said.

March raids on Monywa

The seat of Monywa township is Sagaing’s largest city, located about 135 kilometers (85 miles) northwest of Mandalay on the banks of the Chindwin River. Home to around 372,000 people – nearly half of whom live in rural settings – Monywa serves as a major commerce hub and cultural center for the nation’s poets.

Kyauk Kar, Hta Naung Win and Ywar Ton villages collectively comprise more than 1,000 households, residents said.

ENG_BUR_MonywaRaid_04182024_02.jpg
Displaced civilians due to Myanmar junta raids in Monywa township in 2024. (Chaw Su San)

Attempts by RFA to contact Nyunt Win Aung, the junta’s social affairs minister for Sagaing and the regional spokesperson, for comment on the raids went unanswered.

Wednesday’s raid marks the second time in just over a month that junta troops attacked eastern Monywa township, forcing residents to seek shelter.

In early March, the military set fire to several villages in the area, destroying more than 150 homes and displacing over 5,000 people, residents told RFA.

Translated by Kalyar Lwin. Edited by Joshua Lipes and Malcolm Foster.

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