Monday, 18 November 2019

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Fleeing forced recruitment, young Kachin head to KIO bases

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Because of  the Burmese junta’s forced military recruitment, about 100 young Kachin sought refuge in a military base of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) this week, according to a KIO officer.

The Kachin Independence Army is reinforcing its militia and its army is preparing for battle with the Burmese military regime. Photo : MizzimaForced recruitment of Kachin by the junta’s Northern Command in Kachin State has been underway since February 17, according to sources. 

An officer with Battalion 11 of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) said young Kachin have instead been signing up with the KIA.

For those too young, ‘We also have schools they can attend’, he told Mizzima.

The officer said that he had heard that junta battalions that failed to meet a recruitment quota would be fined 300,000 kyat (about US$ 300) per  month and the money would be given to battalions that met their quota.

The KIO officer noted that some of the young people were underage and could not be accepted.

‘We cannot recruit people who are under 18’, he said.  ‘If we do, it would be said that we use child soldiers. So, we accept only adults and the young people who want to attend our schools’, he said.

According to a document circulated on the Internet, the junta’s conscription law, dated November 4, 2010, says that the military can legally conscript men (between age 18 to 35) and women (between age 18 to 27) into the armed forces. The law has not been made public, sources said.

Reflecting the increased tension in Kachin State, on February 21, KIA Lieutenant General Gam Shawng Gunhtang, the chief of staff, said during a mass meeting at the army’s headquarters in Laiza that the KIO will launch military offensives against the junta and all Kachin must support  the revolution.


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