Thousands displaced by Myanmar junta raids on Chindwin River villages

The latest attacks come amid reports that the military is using the river to transport supplies to northern Sagaing Region

At least 5,000 people have been displaced by recent military raids targeting villages along the Chindwin River in Sagaing Region, according to local relief workers.

The latest attacks come as seven cargo ships, accompanied by two gunboats, started making their way north from the Sit Pin Port in Monywa early Monday morning, locals reported.

“We assume they’re going to Homalin and Mawlaik townships with supplies, weapons and ammunition. Troops on the ground raided Say Thu, which is right on the river, this morning,” a resident of the area told Myanmar Now on Monday.

Many of the displaced civilians are from Sone Chaung, a large village located opposite Monywa on the western bank of the Chindwin. Most fled the village after junta troops massacred 14 residents on July 21.

Some who returned after that incident said they were forced to flee again after soldiers stationed nearby renewed their attacks.

“We went back, but we’re sure it’s not safe to stay overnight yet. Everyone’s been displaced since the military arrived,” said a Sone Chaung villager who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Other villages affected by the recent raids include Than Po, Sithu, Pan Tein Pyin, and Kyauk Hmaw, according to local relief workers.

Myanmar’s military often uses the Chindwin River to transport supplies to remote parts of northern Sagaing Region. The regime has faced fierce resistance to its rule throughout the region since it seized power in a coup in February 2021.

Military supply lines are a frequent target of anti-junta groups that have deployed guerrilla tactics as a means of weakening the junta’s ability to assert control over the country’s population.

According to the latest United Nations estimates, ongoing conflict in Myanmar has displaced at least 1.6 million civilians over the past two and a half years.

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