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Northern Command imposes travel limits on KIO, troops


New Delhi (Mizzima) – The Burmese Army has imposed travel restrictions on the Kachin Independence Organisation, a source in the ethnic group says.

KIA-Armies-on-way-of-LaizaGeneral staff officer Captain Si Thu from the army’s Northern Command’s headquarters in the Kachin State capital Myitkyina told Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) liaison officer Major Dee Rum yesterday that KIO central committee members, staff and officers above sub-township level need to report travel plans first to the local unit of the Military Affairs Security, and can travel only after getting the nod from the command’s head office.

The military regime set an ultimatum of last Wednesday for the KIO to bring its armed wing, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), under junta command within the Burmese Army’s Border Guard Force (BGF) but the KIO had persisted in its refusal to do so.

Dee Rum also passed on the junta’s message that KIO officials and KIA staff were banned from bearing arms and wearing uniform while travelling, a junior officer from KIO general headquarters in Laiza, near the Chinese border, told Mizzima on condition of anonymity.

Myitkyina-Central-Liaison--OfficeKIO and KIA staff live with their families in cities including Myitkyina and have to cross these cities and towns to reach Laiza.

Moreover, Si Thu reportedly told Dee Rum on Saturday that security personnel at the KIO liaison office in Myitkyina were also banned from wearing uniforms and that this order had come from Northern Command chief Brigadier General Zeyar Aung, not the Defence Ministry. The KIO had instructed personnel at the office to stay out of uniform from yesterday.

Since the ceasefire agreement reached with the regime in 1994, the KIO has opened a total of 23 liaison offices in Kachin State and northern Shan State including the central representative office in Myitkyina. The regime had let staff wear military uniforms at some of these offices.

KIO has had security personnel in uniform at the central representative office in Sitapu Ward, Myitkyina for more than a decade.


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 September 2010 00:20 )  

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