January 16, 2009
Below is an article published by: Scoop world
Laos and Hmong human rights groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as Lao government sources and refugees are reporting that Lao Peoples Army (LPA) units are launching renewed offensive operations against Hmong civilians in Xieng Khouang Province, Laos.
Dozens of Hmong and Laotian civilians have been killed and wounded in recent days as the Lao government deploys more army troops, including several notorious Lao-Hmong army officers accused of atrocities and war crimes, against the Hmong civilian population in Laos.
The Hmong Lao Human Rights Council, the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc., the Center for Public Policy Analysis and a coalition of organizations have raised renewed concerns in Washington, D.C. and Southeast Asia about intensified military attacks and atrocities directed against civilians and unarmed dissident groups in closed military zones in Laos.
"Lao military attacks against Laotian and Hmong civilians in Xieng Khouang Province have reportedly intensified in recent days, especially at Phou Bia Mountain and Phou Da Phao," stated Vaughn Vang, Director of the Hmong Lao Human Rights Council. "Human rights violations, especially against the Hmong people, are now very serious in Laos."
Vaughn Vang stated further: "Special LPA military units of the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR) are in the process of launching multi-pronged assaults against Hmong civilian and religious and political dissident groups in hiding in Phou Bia and Phoua Da Pao, in Xieng Khouang Province, Laos."
"Special Lao military units […] are now ruthlessly hunting down Hmong civilian groups in hiding using brutal and relentless artillery attacks; the Lao military is now moving forward with a new and intensified offensive at Phou Bia and Phou Da Phao surrounding Hmong civilian groups in hiding and forcing them out of the jungle and mountains where many have been killed or are dying without food or water," Vaughn Vang said.
"Hmong groups in-hiding are appealing to the world community, United Nations, United States, European Union, Amnesty International and other international human rights organizations, to immediately press the LPDR regime in Laos, and the Lao military, to cease its attacks on the Laotian and Hmong people and to withdraw all its military forces out of the jungles of Laos where these terrible human rights violations are now occurring against many innocent Hmong and Lao civilians," Vaughn Vang concluded.
Lao military attacks against Laotian and Hmong civilians in Xieng Khouang Province have intensified in recent days especially at Phou Bia Mountain and Phou Da Phao.
"The Lao Army should immediately cease its attacks on unarmed Laotian and Hmong civilians in Laos who are seeking to live in peace and who oppose the corrupt, one-party LPDR regime in Vientiane, Laos which continues to unjustly persecute and imprison Lao student leaders and other peaceful dissidents who only seek to bring human rights, democracy and an open society to Laos," stated Bounthanh Rathigna, President of the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc. "The Lao Army is engaged in illegal logging in Laos, with the help of the Vietnamese military and corrupt generals in Hanoi, who are stealing our nation's natural resources... these corrupt LPDR officials are raping the forests and cutting down trees that destroys the natural environment of Laos, including where the Hmong people live."
Amnesty International and other international human rights organizations have rightly deemed this pattern of atrocities against the Hmong people by the LPDR regime and LPA military units as war crimes."
"There are also reportedly at least four different military groups of the LPA surrounding and attacking Hmong groups in hiding in Phoua Da Pao, Xieng Khouang Province, Laos.," said Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis in Washington, D.C.