Monday, 18 November 2019

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KIO wants partial cooperation with junta

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), an ethnic armed group in Northern Burma, have proposed the junta to cooperate with some of its departments.

Representatives of the KIO put up their proposal during a meeting with Commander of the junta’s Northern Command Maj-Gen. Soe Win on Tuesday, where they also discussed on the junta’s proposal to transform the Kachin independence Army (KIA), armed wing of KIO, into the Border Guard Force (BGF).

“Soe Win just wanted us to accept their proposal. We told them we would transform some of our departments, which can work in tandem with the junta’s departments. It is in the discussion stage,” a KIO official, who attended the meeting, told Mizzima.

“Our agriculture, forest conservation, education and health departments will cooperate with them. We will build school buildings along with them. We have communicated this,” the official added.

Led by Vice-Chairman Gauri Zau Sai the KIO delegation to the meeting included at least 10 departmental heads such as the agriculture, health, education, forest conservation, regional developments.

The junta’s delegation was led by the Regional Commander Maj. Gen. Soe Win and Col. Thet Pone from Military Affairs Security (MAS) along with others.

During the meeting, the junta’s commander, however, made no response to the KIO’s proposal of allowing some of its departments to cooperate with the Burmese army. The meeting ended with both sides agreeing to meet again in a few days.

In late April, the Burmese junta proposed all ceasefire armed groups to transform their armed wings into the Border Guard Force. Following the proposal, KIO leaders and military commanders met at least eight times and discuss over the proposal.

Despite of the much pressures by the junta, the KIO convened a mass meeting on September 5, at a KIO controlled town of Laiza at the Sino-Burmese border.

The meeting, attended 324 delegates including religious leaders, Kachin culture groups, and Kachin social groups, adopted a resolution to transform to the KIO into a Kachin Regional Guard Force (KRGF) to be maintained and administered by the KIO instead of the BGF.

On September, the MAS Chief Lt. Gen. Ye Myint told the KIO in a meeting to take a final decision on the BGF issue by October.

Later, six top rank KIO leaders including Vice-Chairman Dr. Tu Ja resigned from their posts and formed the Kachin State Progressive Party (KSPP) to contest the 2010 general election.


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