In the jungles of southeast Myanmar, the army was shooting and otherwise tyrannizing civilians long before last month’s military coup.
This largely unseen oppression continues even now. In the country’s remote southeast, an army offensive has driven as many as 8,000 ethnic Karen people to flee their homes in what aid groups say is the worst upheaval there for nearly 10 years.
They’re now living in the jungle, with fears growing for their health and security, and no prospect of an early return.
This crisis in the borderlands has been overshadowed by the deadly crackdown on the mass movement protesting the military’s takeover of power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.
But it also is a reminder of the brutal force Myanmar’s army has long used against civilians, and in particular the country’s ethnic minorities.