URGENT PRESS RELEASE
23RD OCTOBER 2013
BURMESE ARMY ATTACK AND LOOT KACHIN IDP CAMPS
On the morning of Tuesday 22nd October, the Burmese Army launched an offensive at Namlim Pa and Mung Ding Pa village tracts in Mansi Township, Southern Kachin State. This happened after the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) re-positioned to re-open the Kaihtik-Bhamo motorway. Burmese Army Light Infantry Battalions 45, 56, 236, 240, 276, 601 and 602 under Bhamo-based 21st Military Operations Command (MOC-21) encroached upon Kong Ja village and fired small and heavy artillery toward Mung Ding Pa IDP camp. Local witnesses stated that 60mm heavy artillery shells landed near the school in the IDP camp. Burmese soldiers looted IDPs’ belongings and arrested eight villagers from Kong Ja Village and two from Mung Ding Pa village, including a child aged about 12. These inhumane actions forced many of the refugees to flee for their lives. Some elderly, infirm people and children have taken refuge in the Mung Ding Pa village church.
There is also a confirmed report from local people that heavy fighting broke out between KIA and Burmese Army troops in the Saga Nam Hkum area from 10:30am this morning. More than 2,400 IDPs in the camps at Nam Lim Pa are in danger and many are too afraid to remain there.
Hkanhpa Sadan, General Secretary of Kachin National Council, the Kachin National Organisation said that, “This offensive has violated the agreement that was signed on 10th October 2013 between the KIO and the Union Peace-Making Work Committee. It shows the lack of commitment from the Burma Army to gain sustainable peace and national reconciliation with the ethnic people of Burma. The United Nations and the international community must condemn strongly this new military offensive and make clear that it must be stopped immediately”.
A document signed between the Kachin Independence Organisation and the Myanmar Union Peace-Making Working Committee included an agreement to work to end all armed fighting, as we all as the establishment of a Joint Monitoring Committee, developing a plan for the voluntary return and resettlement of IDPs and the reopening of roads within the Kachin State. The agreement was made in front of UN Special Envoy Vijay Nambiar and Chinese Special Envoy Wang Ying Fan as observers.
For more information contact:
1). Mr. Hkanhpa Sadan, General Secretary, Kachin National Council, Kachin National Organisation (KNO) Phone: 0044 7944 240 774
2). Ms. Lashi Kai Htang, Deputy Foreign Affairs of The Kachin Naitonal Organisation (KNO) Phone: 0044 7920 826 694