Kachin Women’s Group Condemns Burma Army Attacks

A report by the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) documents civilian casualties from Burma Army attacks in Kachin areas, and urges the international community to ramp up pressure on Burma’s government to stop the attacks.

The report states that civilians are getting killed as Burma’s military launches offensives against Kachin Independence Army (KIA) forces.

The report, “State terror in the Kachin Hills,” records the killing or injury of 26 civilians, including women and children, by Burma Army shelling since September 2012.

“Shelling of civilians has taken place across Kachin State: in the jade mining town of Hpakant; the town of Mayan near Myitkyina; an IDP camp near Pangwa on the China border, as well as the border town of Laiza, where mortars were launched indiscriminately in an area populated by over 20,000 civilians, many of whom were internally displaced.” The report stated.

“Burmese troops have also deliberately destroyed civilian settlements, including an IDP camp sheltering over 300 on the Shan-China border near Kyukok (Pangsai), which was torched in November 2012,” the report highlights.

“KWAT is calling for re-imposition of sanctions against the Burmese government, and for a UN-led Commission of Inquiry to investigate crimes against humanity and war crimes in Burma.”

The report noted the devastating extent of the war in northern Burma, with 364 villages wholly or partially abandoned, and over 100,000 people internally displaced.

“Without international pressure, Burma’s government will continue using force to crush ethnic dissent,” said KWAT coordinator Moon Nay Li. “Even while the government is talking peace, they are launching war.”

Despite a government announcement earlier this month that humanitarian aid would be allowed to IDPs in Kachin-controlled areas, an international aid convoy to Laiza was blocked on February 25, the report said.

The Kachin State conflict first erupted in June 2011, when Burma’s Army broke a ceasefire agreement to attack the KIA, the armed wing of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO).

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