WAR: Civilians supporting KIA threatened with death

Civilians supporting the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and its allies in Northern Burma were threatened with death on June 21 by a Burmese battalion commander, said sources among local pro-government militia groups.

The chilling warning came from Lt-Col Soe Shwe Commander of Tamonye-based Infantry Battalion No. 290 when he met local militiamen from two groups— Mung Hkawm and Mung Baw in Mung Hkawm village in Muse district in Northern Shan State, said participants.

A local militiaman said the Burmese commander told the meeting that civilians supporting the KIA and its militia allies with meals, ration and military information will be punished with death without any warning.

It is highly unusual and the first time that a Burmese military officer has threatened local militia groups and civilians since the KIA signed a ceasefire agreement with the central Burmese government in 1994.

The KIA’s Brigade 4 is based in Loikang near Mungji and its five battalions— 2, 8, 9, 17 and 29 are based around Northern Shan State.

There are over ten militia groups in Northern Shan State close to the military-dominated Burmese government along with Chinese businessmen into illegal drug business. Almost all militia groups were formed with neighbouring Chinese citizens for illegal drug business.

Chinese militiamen loyal to the Burmese government are fleeing to the Chinese border town Manghai, opposite the Burmese border town of Mongkoe after the war erupted between the Burmese Army and KIA on June 9, said residents of Munggu (Mongkoe).


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