The Widespread of Armed Conflict and The Dangers of Landmines

“I passed out after the explosion, and I did not know how long I was unconscious. After I woke up, I still felt dizzy. My sister was beside me and she was still unconscious, and I woke her up – she was covered with lots of blood,” Nang Mo Khao narrated her story on the day she stepped on the landmine.

Nang Mo Khao and her sister stepped on a landmine on 12 February 2022 in Lawksawk township, Southern Shan State.

The two sisters were shocked and feared the mine explosion because no such incident occurred in the past in Lawksawk township, Southern Shan State.

On the incident day, the younger sister, who lives in Nong Woe village, Kyauk Gu tract, Lawksauk township, went to pick up her elder sister who lives in Pan Hai village, and they stepped on the mine on their way back. They were unconscious and injured badly.

The place where the landmine exploded was around the area where the Northern Alliance forces and Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS/SSA) had an intense gunfight.

During the clash, apart from the artillery shelling and gun fires, landmines were also set up. After the fight, the landmines were life-threatening trouble for the local residents.

“It happened not so long after the clash. In the past, we have been traveling this route without any issue. I did not know that they would set up landmines. So, I used the same route as usual – it was not a problem on my way there, but it exploded on my way back,” Nang Kyar U, the victim of the land mine, told SHAN.

The two sisters, Nang Kyar U and Nang Mo Khao, were riding a motorcycle between Nong Woe village and Kone Thar village, Lawksauk township, when they stepped on the landmine installed by the armed forces.

Even though clashes occurred in that area, villagers are not informed to avoid using the risky roads after the clashes.

Because of the mine explosion, Nang Mo Khao injured her hips and waist, and her younger sister Nang Kyar U secured more injuries – her hips and upper right thigh to knee are badly damaged by the explosion.

During February 2022, apart from the landmine explosion damage, the residents’ homes and monasteries were also damaged because of the heavy gun fighting between the armed groups in Kyauk Gu village, Lawksuak township.

The residents have never seen armed conflicts around the areas, and they were shocked to see such gun fights occurring.

“I am really scared because I have never seen such clashes since I was born. I am now 28 years old, and I have never experienced such gun fights. I was so scared that I stayed in my house, and hid quietly. I did not dare to look outside – too shocked to do so,” Sai Aung narrated his experience of hiding in his home quietly when the clashes occurred.

Around the end of February 2022, another motorcycle shopkeeper stepped on another landmine around the area where the two sisters experienced the explosion.

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