KIA’s deputy chief of staff dies

by Salai Pi Pi
Monday, 06 April 2009 18:03

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Brigadier Hpung Gan Zau Nan, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) died of cancer on the Sino-Burma border today.

An official of the KIA, the armed wing of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the ethnic armed group which has a ceasefire agreement with the Burmese military junta, said on condition of anonymity that Brigadier Hpung Gan Zau Nan (over 62) died in KIA’s Army hospital in Laiza in Kachin state at 10:10 a.m. on Monday.

“He died of cancer this morning but I don’t know exactly yet what sort of cancer he was suffering from,” an official of the KIA told Mizzima on Monday.

Asked how much his death will affect the organization, he said, “It is too early to say anything. We need to have a meeting.”

Zau Nan was the former commander of Brigade 4 and 6 before being promoted to the rank of Deputy Commander-in-chief of the Kachin Armed group, according to a KIA official. Meanwhile, speaking to Mizzima, Sino-Burma border based Burmese military observer Aung Kyaw Zaw said, Zau Nan was known for his moderate views about nationalism and his skills in public relation.

“He was well-versed and communicated well with his comrades whether senior or junior. Unlike others he was a moderate,” Aung Kyaw Zaw said.

“I think it is a great loss for the KIA and KIO,” he added.

KIA was formed in February 1961 to fight for independence. KIO and its armed wing the KIA reached a ceasefire agreement with the military regime in February 1994.

Delegates of KIO joined the regime’s 15 year long national convention which drafted the constitution endorsed last year.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tu Jar, KIO Vice-chairman said earlier this year that some civilian leaders of the KIO, by forming a different party, are preparing to contest in the regime’s election slated for 2010.

Mizzima News

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