Kachin leaders to speak out about failed negotiations to form the BGF

Burma’s ethnic Kachin leaders will speak publically in northern Kachin State about failed negotiations with the Burmese junta regarding formation of the new Border Guard Force, next Friday, April 16th, local sources said.

The Kachin Independence Organization, the last remaining Kachin armed group, will conduct a public meeting which is to be held in the group’s headquarters, in Laiza, in east of Kachin State, near  the China border, said  KIO officials.

Laiza, the HQ of KIO in northern Burma, near China border.

The meeting has to be held after the junta’s April 28 deadline, which is the second time it demanded the KIO respond with a clear answer on wether it will accept the formation of the proposed BGF.

The first deadline, February 28, expired without a clear decision from the KIO.

The Kachin public, as well as social and religious leaders and regional representatives from Kachin State and Northeast Shan State, are invited to the meeting by the KIO. It will be the 3rd public meeting called by the group concerning the transformation of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the armed-wing of KIO, into to the junta-proposed BGF since April, last year, according to KIO officials in Laiza.

In the meeting, KIO leaders will officially reveal their reasons the dialogue between the KIO and the Burmese junta about forming the BGF failed, even though delegates from both sides met at least 13 times in the Kachin capital of Myitkyina.

Burmese military leader, Snr-Gen Than Shwe, wants the KIO to respond with “acceptance or rejection” of the proposed BGF. However, the KIO has avoided a clear answer and proposed to Snr-Gen Than Shwe that it would like to discuss the armed-wing issue after the political problems between the two sides are resolved.

In fact, the KIO itself has a plan for transforming the KIA in principle, immediately after Kachins have their political rights restored in the Kachin land and all the political problems are resolved between the KIO and the majority Burman-led government, according to KIO leaders.

On the issue of transforming the KIA to the junta-proposed BGF, the KIO called the first public meeting in Laiza in May 12 and 13, last year and the second public meeting in Laiza on September 5 in the same year.

In the two meetings, Kachin people rejected the idea of a new civil war between the Burmese junta and the KIO. But, they disagreed with the junta’s plan to disarm the KIO to form the new BGF before the root political problems between them are resolved, according to the meeting’s statements.

Currently, the KIO is increasingly under pressure to accept the Burmese junta’s proposal regarding the BGF, which was also suggested in a letter from leaders of other Kachin armed groups— New Democratic Army-Kachin (NDA-K) and Lasang Awng Wa Peace Group which were disarmed by the junta late last year and Dr. Tu Ja, former Vice-president No. 2 of KIO while transforming to the BGF.

Kachin news

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