War crimes continue in Kachin state as ceasefire urged
Share this on

War crimes continue in Kachin state as ceasefire urged

Five ethnic parties called on the Burmese government to form a peacemaking committee on Wednesday to stop the widespread war in ethnic areas, according to Mizzima News.

“We urged the government to shoulder responsibility to form a peacemaking committee in the form of a workshop to bring about peace,” RNDP vice chairman Ohn Tin, an Upper House MP representing the Man-aung constituency, told Mizzima.

On 3 August, the last day of a two-day inter-party meeting, the Chin National Party, All Mon Region Democracy Party, Phalon-Sawaw Democratic Party, Shan Nationalities Democratic Party and Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP) urged the government and ethnic armed groups to stop warfare and to declare an end to hostilities. In addition to the 31 representatives of the five political parties, the Kayan National Party also attended the meeting as an observer.

The group also asked the government, local and foreign charitable organizations and other donors to help war refugees who have fled their homes due to the fighting.

The Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) wants to sign a meaningful and strong ceasefire agreement with the Burmese government this time, unlike the agreement in 1994, which deprived a lot of rights and benefits for the Kachin people and the armed group itself, the Kachin News Group quoted a KIO official saying.

“The 1994 ceasefire agreement made us suffer for 17 years. We knew it was politically fruitless and the wrong agreement but we had to follow it.  As a result, we have been highly criticized by Kachin people.”

This is in spite of the fact that the KIO had no satisfactory option to review the condition and it signed the ceasefire agreement with the then-Burmese junta devoid of any political discussion.

Recently, the KIO has proposed an end to the merciless fighting if the government will inaugurate talks for a countrywide ceasefire. But Burmese government authorities did not reveal any obvious positive sign, according to La Nang, a spokesman for the KIO.

The KIO has met Burmese mission three times within last two months in an effort to sign a new armistice. Even though, preliminary talks are starting, Burma armed forces do not stop their military movements and the government soldiers are committing various war crimes.

A Kachin villager was brutally killed by Burmese soldiers in Kahtan-Yang village, in Kamaing Township, Burma’s northern Kachin State, said local witnesses, according to the Kachin News Group . Hpukjawng Seng Du, 30, was arrested and buried alive on 31 July in the forest near the village by government soldiers, said the villagers. According to Mizzima News, Seng Du was identified as a telecommunications operator for the KIO.

KIO joint secretary and spokesman, La Nang, confirmed the death of Seng Du and it is under investigation whether he was a KIO member.

According to villagers, the above war crime was committed by the Waingmaw-based Infantry Battalion No. 58, under Northern Regional Military Command (NC), in Myitkyina, and Hlaingbwe-based Light Infantry Battalion No. 338, under Mawlamyine-based South Eastern Regional Military Command (SEC).

The same day about 7 a.m. Burmese government soldiers from the same military columns murdered 17 year old Marip Tang at his home, another war crime in the same village, added villagers.

Kahtan-Yang villagers are fleeing to the town of Kamaing after they learnt brutal murders at their village, fearing more atrocious killings, villagers said. Burmese soldiers from the same unit arrested eight villagers in Kawng Ra, in Kamaing, as porters on 30 July, to bury corpses, quoting local witnesses Kachin News Group said.

On 24 July, KIA ambushed Burmese convoy from Infantry Battalion No. 105 at Nga Pauk Kone in Kamaing. Four soldiers were killed and roughly 10 wounded. The areas around Kamaing on Namti-Hpakant route has become a war zone between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Burmese troops since the renewed skirmishing started on 9 June.

On 2 August, the KIA launched another ambush-attack on a Burmese military truck at around 5 pm (local time) in N’mawk Township, Manmaw District, Northern Kachin State.

The attack took place during two days of talks negotiating a new ceasefire between delegates from the Kachin Independence Organization and the Burmese government at the KIO’s Laja Yang Liaison Office.

The truck carried military personnel, policemen and intelligence agents from the Military Affairs Security (MAS). The ambush took place on the road connecting N’mawk (Momauk) and two Taping (Dapein) dams near the Sino-Burma border. It occurred in the KIA’s Battalion 15 area, quoting local sources at the scene the Kachin News Group said. As revealed by witnesses, there were casualties in the attack but the accurate number is unknown.

Recently, Burma’s Nobel laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, released an open letter addressed to President Thein Sein and ethnic armed groups. Suu Kyi made an appeal for political talk and an urgent ceasefire between major ethnic rebel groups – Kachin Independence Organization, Karen National Union, New Mon State Party, Shan State Army – and government troops.

She said that she was ready to contribute all her might to end the armed conflicts and to reconstruct Burma as a peaceful developed nation.