Monday, 18 November 2019

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Kachin rejects ‘Border Guard Force’ proposal

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Burmese military junta’s pressure notwithstanding, the Kachin people have rejected the regime’s proposal of transforming the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) troops to a Border Guard Force (BGF).

The mass meeting held in Myitkyina, Kachin State on September 5 and 6, attended by 324 representatives including KIO leaders adopted a resolution to accept their troops being transformed into an autonomous ‘Kachin Regional Guard Force’ (KRGF).

“The meeting decided to continue the peaceful negotiation for ethnic rights demanded by the Kachin people. We decided to negotiate again with the government on the transformation issue,” a  KIO delegate, told Mizzima.

The meeting also decided to maintain the current ceasefire status and the desire to participate in the forthcoming Kachin State Government by transforming the KIO.

KIO responded to Naypyitdaw in July saying that they did not want convert to the BGF which would be under the complete control of the Tatmadaw (junta’s armed forces). But the junta seems to be rigid and gave the KIO a deadline till the end of October.

After the junta attacked the Kokang ceasefire group, which had also refused to accept the proposal of transforming the BGF on the pretext of drug eradication, speculation is rife that wars along the Sino-Burma border is imminent.

But Naypyidaw War Office sources said that the junta is cautious in its approach to the KIO  because it has stronger forces than the Shan State Special Region (1) (Kokang).

Meanwhile the KIO took another step by accepting the resignation of six high ranking leaders in preparation for their contesting the 2010 general election.

KIO sources said that the six high ranking officers including KIO Vice-Chairman Dr. Tuja were permitted to resign from their posts on September 2.

“We paved the way for Dr. Tuja and his colleagues to form a political party which will represent the Kachin people. They were allowed to resign from their posts with the consent of the KIO,” he said.

KIO Vice-Chairman Dr. Tuja, General Secretary (2) Inja Nawrus, Foreign Affairs in-charge Nat Le, Eastern Command Commander Chaboung Karan, Economics Department official U Mong Khaung and an official from Interim Committee U Zau Phan resigned from their posts..

Kachin political sources said that they would contest the forthcoming general election mainly in Kachin State  under the aegis of the ‘Kachin State Progressive Party’ (KSPP).

Dr. Tuja will be Chairman of the KSPP while the others are from other Kachin ceasefire groups. They are Maj. Thein Saung, Second in-charge of Liaison Department of the New Democratic Alliance Army – Kachin (NDA-K) and Maj. Phon Ran from the KIO breakaway faction led by Lasan Awng Wah.

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) was established in February 1961 and reached a ceasefire agreement with the junta in February 1994.


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