Thousands of peanut farmers in Sagaing Region have been prevented from harvesting by regime soldiers who occupied their villages in Indaw Township almost two months ago.
A farmer requesting anonymity told KNG that over 6,000 villagers from Aung Kon, Inpin, Tontaw and Nant Tha fled before about 100 troops arrived on 20 March.
“We have to harvest our peanuts before the rainy season starts,” he said. This is at the end of May and he explained that they’re afraid to return while the army is in the area.
The villages of about 300 houses in total are located near the road from Indaw to Bamauk, about 8 miles west of Indaw town. The inhabitants grow rice when they aren’t growing peanuts.
A woman from Inpin, who doesn’t want to give her name, said the sit-tat has abducted civilians and forced them to serve as human shields while patrolling the township, and has also killed people.
“If they see villagers, they’ll shoot at us,” she explained.
Just last month, soldiers shot at Nant Tha villagers in their sunflower fields, after which they ran for safety.
Last year, the army set fire to some houses in Aung Kon, Tontaw and Nant Tha and arrested some people.