Burma junta asks KIA to form seven battalions of BGF

Burma’s ruling junta has asked the last remaining and largest ethnic Kachin ceasefire group in the country’s north to transform into seven battalions of the Border Guard Force, under the control of the Burmese Army, said sources within the group.
Delegates of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) were asked for the seven battalions during the last meeting between the KIO and the Burmese military at Kachin State’s capital, Myitkyina, on January 29, by Lt-Gen Ye Myint, chief of Military Affairs Security (MAS) and Chief of Naypyitaw, who was appointed negotiator with all ethnic armed groups transforming into BGF forces, said KIO sources.

During the meeting, Lt-Gen Ye Myint, emphasized the failure of the KIO to transform its armed-wing, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), to the BGF- which was proposed in April 2009, the sources said. During the meeting at Mali Hka Center, in the Myitkyina-based Northern Command Headquarters (Ma-Pa-Kha), the KIO delegates did not respond immediately by rejecting the latest junta’s proposal and the one-hour long meeting was concluded without plans for continuing discussions over the latest proposals by both sides, added the KIO officers who attended the latest meeting.

There have been 10 meetings time since April about transforming the KIA in to BGF, but, no agreement has been reached, according to KIO officers at Laiza headquarters, near the China border.

The KIO leaders say the Burmese generals’ BGF policy is not acceptable and is negatively affecting relations between the sides.

The KIO argues that it wants to disarm itself, in keeping with the Panglong Agreement, the historic accord signed by Burman leader Gen Aung San and ethnic Kachin, Chin and Shan leaders, before the formation of the multi-ethnic Union of Burma.

On the 49th anniversary of Kachin Revolution Day on Feb. 5, the anniversary speech of KIO chairman Lanyaw Zawng Hra mainly focused on the Panglong Agreement and ethnic minorities’ rights.

On the anniversary day, several anti-Burmese government demonstrations and protests occurred in London, New Delhi and Kuala Lumpur.

Local sources close to the Burmese army told KNG today, recent movements of Burmese troops have taken place in areas formerly controlled by two former Kachin armed groups who were disarmed by the junta in eastern Kachin State— the New Democratic Army-Kachin (NDA-K) based in Pangwah and the Lasang Awng Wa Peace Group, based in Lawa Yang, since the Kachin Revolution Day.

Sources said Burmese soldiers are digging fresh bullet-proof bunkers and tunnels in the territories of the two former Kachin armed groups.

Former KIA officers on the China-Burma border told the Kachin News Group today, the renewed political and military tensions between the KIO and the junta occurred on the heels of stalled BGF negotiations.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s