22 Dead State Media Reports, as Kachin Fighting Intensifies

Kachin, ethnic issues, KIA, rebel, internal conflict, Myanmar, Myanmar military, Tatmadaw

A soldier prepares to load his KIA-made grenade launcher during a long assault on the Hkaya Bum outpost on Jan. 20, 2013. (Photo: Steve Tickner / The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON— Fighting between government troops and ethnic rebels in Burma’s northeastern state of Kachin has left at least 22 people dead this month, state-run media reported Sunday.

The clashes in Kachin come despite efforts by the government to forge a nationwide cease-fire agreement with all armed ethnic groups within the next few months – a deadline that has repeatedly been pushed back because of ongoing clashes.

The latest violence erupted on April 4 after members of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) ambushed an army column in the Man Wein Gyi region, the Kyemon daily said.

The “mopping up” operation that followed resulted in the capture of a rebel camp, the paper reported, adding that at least 14 government troops and eight rebels were killed.

The KIA is a major rebel group that has yet to reach a cease-fire deal with Burma’s President Thein Sein’s nominally civilian government, which came to power in 2011 after almost five decades of harsh military rule.

Fighting with the KIA has been on-again, off-again since then. It started with a refusal by rebels to abandon a strategic base near a hydropower plant – a joint venture agreement between Burmese and Chinese companies.

At times, the government has resorted to bombardment, uprooting an estimated 120,000 people, many of them now living in dirty, crowded displacement camps.

This month’s unrest has forced hundreds to flee the camps and their homes, aid groups say.

2 Responses to 22 Dead State Media Reports, as Kachin Fighting Intensifies

  1. Peace according to military style will never bring real peace. Democracy according to military style will never be real democracy. Instead of cheating, military regime(USDP)would better try to bring genuine peace and democracy as the people want to have. Military can only save its name by bringing what the people have been asking for. We asked for peace but regime pointed gun at us. We asked for democracy but regime gave us nightmare. Disciplined democracy is indeed crooked democracy. Regime is guilty again in Kachin State these days.

  2. Crime after crime after crime. Going into Kachinland and assaulting the Kachins is like going into the house of someone and rape the daughters of the homeowner. Myanmar Army keeps committing crimes against humanity. Outside world especially the UN and the West must know that Myanmar is nowhere near to democracy. Myanmar regime has no legal system but illegal system. Tayar Upadi in Myanmar actually is matayar Upadi.

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