Kachin Boys Used as Human Shields in Kawng Ja

kachin land


Burmese army troops stationed near Kawng Ja village used Kachin village boys as human shields as they marched across Nam Me creek towards KIA positions today at about 4:30 pm. A column of Burmese army troops took 3 boys from Kawng Ja village and forced them to walk in front of soldiers to protect themselves from KIA fire.

One KIA officer said they could not open fire as village boys walked in front of Burmese troops. “As they came nearer, we withdrew from our positions, but they chased us firing from behind,” said the officer. He said clashes continue between the two sides as of this evening.

The incident took place after a Burmese army tactical commander gave permission to local NGO Karuna to deliver rice sacks and other food items to Namlim Pa villagers and IDPs currently surrounded by government troops. An NGO worker says Burmese army’s frontline troops deliberately attack KIA positions to prevent food supplies from reaching Namlim Pa village.

80 students, 1 nurse and 2 school teachers, who had fled from Mungding Pa village, have arrived in Namlim Pa village today. About 500 Mungding Pa villagers fled to Tan Tadar and Hanhtet village on foot on Oct 28. Hundreds of villagers from Mungding Pa and surrounding villages are believed to be still wandering in the forest.

Despite both sides agreed on further de-escalation of hostilities and to end fighting, Burmese army significantly increased its presence in southern Kachin State beginning in third week of October, just a week after Myitkyina meeting.

KIA sources say Burmese army battalions being sent to Mansi Township in southern Kachin State include infantry battalions and regiments under 101st LID, 33rd LID, 99th LID, Maing Nawng-based MOC-7, Theinni-based MOC-16, and Regional Military Commands from North Western Command and South Western Command.

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