|Monday, 17 October 2011 20:54|
The Burma Army detained 20 residents of Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, on October 16, as porters, residents said.
They were detained on the roads at night, between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., in the two Kachin quarters, Manhkring and Shwezet, by P.L.N (Myitkyina)-based Infantry Battalion (IB) No. 29, according to sources close to the detainees.
Earlier, a car carrying troops from IB No. 29 went to the administrators of the two quarters and demanded to collect 50 persons from each quarter to work as porters for the military, according to residents.
A convoy of government troops was denied permission to collect the quota of porters by administrators in the two quarters, said residents.
Eventually however, officials from the two quarters allowed government troops to collect porters from only one road, after soldiers threatened to collect porters house to house, said officials.
Government troops are forcibly detaining people to work as porters in other Kachin dominated quarters, including Shatapru, Tatkone, Du Kahtawng, and Waingmaw Town opposite Myitkyina, residents said.
A resident of Myitkyina told the Kachin News Group, “Burmese soldiers are mainly detaining Kachin nationals as porters. They have to wear Burma Army uniforms and take the government troops to the frontlines to fight against fellow Kachins in the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).”
Some porters have to carry weapons and ammunition to the frontlines for government troops.
It is not unusual that local Kachin nationals are detained as porters since the Burmese government started a new civil war against the KIA in Kachin State and in Northern Shan State on June 9, according to people in the two states. The KNG News