Update, January 26, 2012: I’ve been following the work of the Karen indigenous women in Burma for many years now, so I was heartened to hear that the Burmese government has signed a cease-fire truce with the Karenni people as of Thursday, January 12, 2012. Let’s hope it’s for real.
Note: Following is a blog post I wrote last February after having received the press release which follows from the Karen Women’s Organization. The situation has, of course, come to a head in Burma. I am writing about it and wanted to provide this history, particularly of what has been happening to the women of Burma. — Heart
State of Terror, a report launched today by the Karen Women’s Organization, provides graphic evidence of the widespread terror tactics being employed by the military regime’s troops against women across Burma’s Karen State.
As the atrocities continue, the KWO appeals for concerted international pressure on the regime to bring about an immediate nationwide ceasefire and withdrawal of Burmese Army Troops from the ethnic states.
“We deeply regret the veto by China and Russia and SouthAfrica’s vote against the UN Security Council Resolution on Burma last month,” said KWO Secretary Naw Zipporah Sein. “It is equivalent to endorsing the regime’s terror campaign in Karen State. They are giving us a death sentence.”
The report documents 4,000 cases of abuse, including rape, murder, torture and forced labour, mainly over the past few years, in over 190 villages by troops from over 40 Burmese Army battalions.
Repeated incidents of gang-rape in 2006 reveal that the patterns of systematic sexual violence exposed byt he KWO in their 2004 report Shattering Silences are still continuing.
Harrowing testimony in the report describes women seeing their children killed before their eyes, women used as human minesweepers and pregnant women suffering miscarriages while carrying heavy loads for the army.
Read the full report at Karen Women’s Organization
Background from Karenpeople.org