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Kachin rebels deny helping ULFA shift to Burma

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The Kachin Independence Army (KIA), an ethnic armed rebel group in Burma, has rubbished media-reports that it is helping a Northeast Indian rebel outfit in shifting its camps to KIA controlled areas, but did not rule out the possibility of the presence of the Indian rebels in other parts of Kachin state in Northern Burma.

A report in the Indian newspaper ‘The Telegraph’ quoting Indian army intelligence on Thursday said, India’s northeast rebels, particularly the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), has shifted its camp from Bangladesh to eastern Burma with the help of the KIA.

The report also said other groups such as Manipur’s People’s Liberation Army and the United National Liberation Front also have their bases in Kachin state.

But Col. Gum Maw, Deputy Chief-of-Staff of the KIA, said they severed connections with the ULFA or any other northeast Indian rebel groups after they signed a ceasefire agreement with Burma’s ruling junta in 1994.

“There is no such arrangement with KIA. It is not true that we had helped them to shift their camp from Bangladesh to Kachin state,” a KIO official said. However, he did not rule out the possibility of the presence of northeast rebels in Kachin state.

“After we signed a cease-fire agreement with the junta, we don’t have contact with them [Indian rebels] anymore,” he added.

However, the Telegraph report said, “There are nearly 3,000 ULFA cadres and their family members in Myanmar [Burma] camps. Of these, 1,200 to 1,500 are trained cadres. Sources said these camps are located deep inside Myanmarese [Burmese] territory.”

The report also quoted Indian army intelligence as saying, “Another major camp run by ULFA and Manipur insurgent groups is located at Bokkun in Myanmar (on the other side of the international border adjacent to Ukhrul district of Manipur).”

Sources on the Indo-Burma border earlier told Mizzima that Indian militant outfits have been seen camping in Tamu district of Sagaing division in North-western Burma, bordering India.

But the source failed to identify which groups the militants belong to.

Last Updated ( Friday, 25 September 2009 18:09 )  

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