Border Guard Force faces human rights complaint

A human rights organisation has accused an officer of a Border Guard Force in Kayin State of murdering two civilians because he feared they would disclose his involvement in illegal narcotics trading.
The allegation appears in a report, Truce or Transition, released on May 13 in Yangon by the Karen Human Rights Group, which documents alleged human rights abuses in Kayin districts between January and November 2013.
U Saw Albert, field director of KHRG, said that despite the ceasefire between the government and the Karen National Union, abuses continue to take place. He accused both BGF and Tatmadaw soldiers of being involved in trafficking methamphetamines in and around Hpa-an, Kayin State.
“Two civilians have been murdered by BGF soldiers worried about the leak of information about the drugs trade in Hpa-an district,” Saw Albert said.
He said a major in the BGF was involved in the narcotics trade, and permitted gambling and arbitrary taxation on residents.
The Truce or Transition report also says the ceasefire, and the accompanying freedom of movement it brought, have allowed other abuses to flourish. These include land grabs for development projects such as a rubber plantation, mining and dams. The report says groups as diverse as the Tatmadaw, Border Guard Force, Karen Peace Force, Karen Democracy and Development Party, Karen National Union, domestic and foreign companies and government officials have been involved in land confiscation since early 2012.
“They [armed groups and businessmen] don’t negotiate or pay enough compensation, or seek permission from residents,” said Khu Khu Ju, the advocacy coordinator at KHRG.
KHRG says it will promote discussion on the problems of continuous human rights abuse in Kayin State with ethnic armed-group leaders involved in the peace process, including Myanmar Peace Center (MPC), Myanmar Human Rights Committee, and international and local organisations.