Junta insists KIA be transformed to BGF PDF | Print | E-mail
News – Kachin News Group
FRIDAY, 11 SEPTEMBER 2009 11:36
The Burmese junta is insistent that the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the largest ethnic Kachin armed group, transform to the Burmese Army controlled Border Guard Force (BGF), said KIA officers.
Lt-Gen Ye Myint, head of the executive committee of transition and junta’s Chief of Military Affairs Security (MAS), reiterated the regime’s demand of transforming KIA to the BGF to delegates of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the political-wing of the KIA during the meeting in Kachin State’s capital Myitkyina on September 9, said KIO delegates.
During the meeting, KIO delegates led by Vice-president No. 1 Lt-Gen Gauri Zau Seng brought up other issues not related to the BGF. However, the delegates were confined to the issue of transformation by Lt-Gen Ye Myint, also Naypyitaw negotiator for all ethnic ceasefire groups in the country, KIO delegates said.
In principle, the KIO has accepted the transformation of its armed wing, the KIA but not to the junta-proposed Border Guard Force. It wants to change KIA to a self controlled Kachin Regional Guard Force (KRGF).
A KIO delegate told KNG today, no decision was arrived at or any positive result surfaced in the negotiation. However, both sides agreed to meet next time after inter-organizational discussions over the latest negotiation process.
On the other hand, the junta supremo Senior General Than Shwe has rejected KIO’s demands and has refused to meet KIO’s civilian peace mediators led by Rev. Dr. Lahtaw Saboi Jum twice. This is because the KIO had approved the junta-drafted new constitution in May, 2008, said Naypyitaw sources.
Lt-Gen Ye Myint and Maj-Gen Soe Win, commander of Myitkyina-based Northern Command repeatedly told KIO delegates that the junta is negotiating with the KIO because of the goodwill of Snr-Gen Than Shwe and the military government, when it is really not needed because the KIO approved the new constitution, said sources close to KIO delegates.
If the KIO does not want any more meaningless negotiations with the junta they may release a statement, sources close to KIO delegates in Laiza headquarters on the Sino-Burma border in Kachin State said.
The KIO delegates returned to Laiza headquarters yesterday evening after a two-day meeting with Lt-Gen Ye Myint. The KIO will respond to the chief negotiator’s appeal on the transformation issue after organizational meetings, said KIO officials in Laiza.
In a move to clarify the future policy of KIO, it dismissed six high ranking officers from the party including Vice-president No. 2 Dr. Manam Tu Ja and Deputy General Secretary N’Ja Naw Rip on September 2. They are preparing to participate in the 2010 elections planned by the junta.
The KIO and KIA have a manpower of over 20,000 and it also has an alliance with three ethnic ceasefire groups in Shan State – the Kokang group also called the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), the Mongla-based National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA-ESS) and the United Wa State Army (UWSA).
KIA soldiers in Kachin State and Northeast Shan State are on high alert. They have been ordered to fire at Burmese troops who intrude into their territories since the junta captured the Kokang’s capital Laogai on August 24.