Myanmar’s generals are cutting off food supplies to IDP camps in Kayah State
An increasing number of refugees from Myanmar’s Kayah State are expected to flee to Mae Hong Son province in northern Thailand after the Myanmar military government implemented its so-called “four cuts” strategy to weaken Karenni resistance forces in the border state, a report said on Wednesday.
The Kantarawaddy Times, a Burmese-language news outlet, quoted a source as saying that more than 50 camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Kayah State are in urgent need of food after the military government cut off food transport routes to the state, which is a stronghold of Karenni resistance forces.
The four-cuts strategy has been used by military juntas in Myanmar to weaken resistance to their rule by cutting off vital support – food, communication, personnel, and financial aid – to its opponents.
The country’s military – which seized power from a civilian government in 2021 – has prohibited the transport of food staples – such as rice, oil, and salt – to Loikaw and Demoso, the capital and a major city of Kayah State, respectively.
Food shortages in Kayah State have driven the price of bagged rice to over 100,000 kyats (1,675 baht) per 50 killiogramme, compared to 960 baht in Thailand, the source said.
The four-cuts strategy has prevented donations and aid from international organisations from reaching IDP camps in six cities of Kayah State, according to officials from the Coordination Team for Emergency Relief (CTER) – Karenni.
As the military continues to bombard the state with non-stop airstrikes, CTER estimated that the number of IDPs could rise to more than 200,000 citizens.
Last month, Thai officials reported that about 9,064 Karenni people had fled the war in Kayah State to seek refuge in Mae Hong Son.