Former KIA brigade warned not to help KIA in event of war

News – Kachin News Group
MONDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2009 11:09

A former army brigade of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) based in Burma’s northeast Shan State has been warned not to help the locally-based mother organization, in the event of Burmese troops attacking it, said local sources.

The Kong Hka-based Kachin Defense Army (KDA), former KIA’s 4th Brigade was informed of this early last week by Maj-Gen Aung Than Htut, commander of Lashio-based Northeast Shan State command (Ya-Ma-Kha) of the Burmese junta, said KDA sources.

KDA sources said, Aung Than Htut cautioned the group that it should not have any link and support the Loikang-based KIA’s 4th Brigade, based near the KDA headquarters Kong Hka if the Burmese troops attack it.

Maj-Gen Aung Than Htut also warned KDA that the relationship between the KDA and the junta will be tainted if the KDA ties up with the KIA’s 4th Brigade, and supports it, added the group’s sources.

The KDA led by Mahtu Naw has over 400 troops and the group accepted transforming KDA to the Burmese Army-controlled militia group in June.

According to sources close to KDA junior officers, the group leader Mahtu Naw and some high ranking officials will have to obey the commander’s directive. However junior officers and soldiers may not abide by the diktat. Former KIA’s 4th Brigade, led by Mahtu Naw split from the mother KIA and its political-wing the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) in 1990, and surrendered to the Burmese Army. The new group was renamed KDA in January 13, 1991 but it was authorized to stay with its troops in its base by the junta.

Meanwhile, two KIO officers from Laiza headquarters on the Sino-Burma border in Kachin State visited the command headquarters of KIA’s 4th Brigade, on September 12 (Saturday). The duo detailed the latest political situation between the junta and the KIO to over a hundred people— men and women in service in the 4th Brigade, and Kachin community leaders in Northeast Shan State, said participants.

During the meeting, the organization members and public participants were told that the KIO will maintain the ceasefire agreement with the junta as long as possible but it will not accept transforming KIA to the junta-proposed Border Guard Force (BGF), a local participant told KNG today.

The two KIO officers also explained to the participants that the KIO may agree to transform the KIA to a Kachin Regional Guard Force or Kachin State Security Force.

In general, all participants supported the current policy of the KIO and they also expressed their support to fight against the junta if it rejects the KIO’s demands and ignores the political rights of ethnic Kachin people.

The KIO has held a central committee meeting in Laiza headquarters since September 12 after it was told repeatedly to transform the KIA to BGF by Lt-Gen Ye Myint, the junta’s Chief Naypyitaw negotiator and Chief of Military Affairs Security (or Sa-Ya-Pha in Burmese) in the meeting between them in the Kachin State’s capital Myitkyina on September 9.

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