Burmese Army Using Mongkoe Residents as Human Shields

About 70 Mungkoe residents who have been arrested and taken inside the Burmese army’s byuha (tactical command post) since fighting broke out at the beginning of the fourth week of November between northern-allied ethnic troops and Burmese army in northern Shan State are still being held hostages inside Burmese army base in Mungkoe byuha hill.

Most hostages are Lisu who live around Burmese army base. Mungkoe residents who have fled to Chinese side of the border said over 100 civilians including a newly-wed couple and those dancing traditional Lisu dance after the wedding were taken into Burmese army’s base at Byuha hill. Chinese citizens who are relatives of the couple were released after hours of interrogation. About 70 civilians that include Kachin, Chinese and Shan ethnic nationalities are still remained inside Burmese army base.

Yang Pong Lung, a chinese man who was released last week said Burmese army troops used those hostages inside the compound as human shields to protect them from ethnic-allied troops. He said hostages are asked to stand near bunkers, build fences around the base and cook for the soldiers. They are often beaten with rifle butts for slow responses and miscommunication, said Yang Pong Lung.

Yang Pong Lung said Burmese soldiers asked all the men hostages to raise their hands up high all the time in order to prevent from weapons being snatched. “Some male hostages are forced to kneel and squat still for long time with their fingers interlaced behind their head,” he said.

A woman who was freed last week told KLN that Burmese soldiers freed her as her baby and a toddler kept crying inside the army base. She said her husband and two of her sons are still being held inside the Burmese army base.

Here is the list of some people currently being held hostages by Burmese army troops at Mongkoe byuha:

Myitung Hka

Zinghang Hting Nan

Ah Yung

Ai Mun

Ai Seng

Hkawng Hawng

Hung Chawn

Yong Zau

Ma Li

Yang Hkaw Fa

Su E Shong

Su Zin Myen

Lu Yung Lwi

Hung Shin Zau

Lai Yen

Hung Myi Lung

Chin Yung

Ai Nu

Li Shawng

Zehe Lum Hkawng

Yang Lu Yen

Su Myen