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Kachin call for halt of Burmese government offensives

An 11-member Kachin coalition group issued a comprehensive policy statement directed to President Thein Sein, the UN and the Chinese government on Thursday.

Kachin Independence Army recruits outside Laiza headquarters. Photo: AFPIt urged an “immediate stop” to the military offensives against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), saying it destroyed “the trust between both sides.”

It called on the government to take “tangible actions against those who ignore the president’s orders.”

The statement said a lack of democracy, ethnic equality and self-determination are the main causes of the current conflict, while calling for a genuine political dialogue between the president and the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) with the goal of ensuring a cease-fire and lasting peace in Burma and ethnic armed conflict areas.  

Military intelligence, government troops and local police should stop “arbitrarily arresting and brutally killing Kachin civilians under suspicion of being connected with KIO/KIA, and rape cases involving government troops should be brought before a court of justice lead by the government’s human rights commission and international organizations,” it said.

It called for free access to an estimated 90,000 Kachin displaced persons by the United Nations, international aid organizations, local Kachin groups, and civil society groups.

The statement called for “pressure on the Burmese government to bring perpetrators before a court of justice and form a UN Commission of Inquiry in Burma in order to investigate human rights violations against local civilians.”  
Specifically, it also called for aid to be deliver to the Putao area “where local residents have been suffering rice shortages since July 2012 as a result of the government troops ban on the export of rice and the unfeasibility of farming in a conflict area.”

It said the Chinese government should support humanitarian emergency aid to Kachin IDPs instead of expelling them from its boarders, and it should cooperate with the KIO in aiding Kachin who live in camps inside China as a result of the Burmese troop’s offensive.

Eleven groups signed the statement:

1. All Kachin Students and Youth Union
2. Kachin Center (Thailand)
3. Kachin Development Network Group
4. Kachin Environmental Organization
5. Kachin Women’s Association- Thailand
6. Kachin News Group
7. Pan Kachin Development Society
8. Kachin Community in United Kingdom
9. Kachin National Organization
10. Queensland Kachin Community
11. Kachin Association of Australia
Last Updated ( Thursday, 30 August 2012 16:09 )  
The Kachin’s last stand
Since October this year, Burma has been in a state of civil war, with fighting between Burmese military and armed ethnic rebels. The ruling junta started a crackdown on these armed groups.

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