Sexual violence by Burmese government troops continues despite ceasefires in Shan State

The Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF) has documented eight cases of sexual violence committed by Burmese government troops in southern and eastern Shan State since April 2015, all in so-called “ceasefire” areas. These cases reveal continuing patterns of impunity, and highlight that ongoing militarization and offensives by the Burma Army despite ceasefires are a key factor threatening women’s security in ethnic areas.

sexual violence map 2015 Eng

The most recent crime took place on November 5, 2015, near a village in Ke See township. A 32-year-old woman was gang-raped by about 10 soldiers while her husband was tied up under their farm hut. This took place during the current offensive by the Burma Army against the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army-North (SSPP/SSA-N). Despite an existing bilateral ceasefire, the government has since last month deployed 20 battalions, heavy artillery, and fighter aircraft to seize SSPP/SSA-N areas, committing abuses against civilians and causing displacement of over 10,000 villagers.

To our international friends and supporters,

23 November 2015

We wish to alert you to recent events in Shan State, Eastern Burma, which have left more than 10,000 people displaced and many killed and injured.

Whilst the world is distracted by election results in Burma, the Burma Army has launched a massive offensive in Central Shan State. Fighting has also escalated in Kachin State and Palaung area of Northern Shan State. The Shan Women’s Action Network strongly condemns the attacks, which have left thousands without food and shelter.

Map of Fighting Area

SWAN’s Charm Tong recently spoke to the media about the attacks: “The fighting is escalating, with the Burma Army indiscriminately shelling and shooting civilian homes, temples and temporary IDP [internally displaced person] camps. The situation has terrorized the local communities”, she told the Irrawaddy.