Thursday, 14 November 2019

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Military intelligence detains Kachin captain over pistol


Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Burmese military intelligence officials arrested a Kachin militia captain on Wednesday for carrying an unlicensed handgun, as the junta increases pressure on the ethnic armed ceasefire group.

kia-army-arrest1Captain Zawli was arrested by Military Affairs Security (MAS) officers at a checkpoint six miles (10 kilometres) from Laiza, the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) stronghold in Kachin State near the Sino-Burmese border.

“In the past, we could carry weapons without a permit but these days, they [Burmese officials] have imposed many restrictions [on us],” a KIO official said. “The captain was arrested because he had not informed the junta [he was carrying a weapon].”

Under Northern Command chief Brigadier General Zeyar Aung junta restrictions were tighter than before, he said, adding that from Sunday, the commander had banned KIO members from travelling in uniform or with weapons. He had also banned the wearing of uniforms at KIO liaison offices throughout the state. 

According to Kachin sources, Zawli had taken medical leave and was travelling by bus to his farm in Madeeyan village, 10 miles from Laiza, when he was detained.

The KIO on Wednesday demanded the Northern Command release Zawli, but he remained in custody yesterday.

Similarly, Lieutenant Yaw Htone and two Kachin soldiers from the third battalion of the KIO’s armed wing, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), were detained on April 20 while returning home on leave, and they also remain in detention.

Since 2008, at least 20 KIO members had been arrested by junta security officials, a KIO official said.

The KIO has persisted in its rejection of the junta’s demand that they bring their KIA troops under its command within the so-called Border Guard Force.


 

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