Children born on the day civil war reignited in Kachin State are now starting their first grade in school, this week. Thousands of IDPs from a total of over 120,000 have fled, again, from their IDP camps, which they had called home for five years, as conflict spreads toward the Sino-Burmese border.
As humanitarian relief efforts dwindle and conflict resurges, the Government’s Army has ordered all assistance to be blocked to KIO-administered areas with the sole objective of starving the IDPs and worsening the humanitarian crisis.
Kachin communities throughout the world are calling today for the Government’s Army to immediately end their offensives and withdraw troops from ethnic areas, and for the international community to maintain arms embargoes and prohibit further military to military engagement with the Government’s Army while the civil war continues.
After two years of unilateral ceasefire by the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), in 1994, a bilateral agreement with the military government of Burma (the State Law and Order Restoration Council) was signed in hopes of ending over three decades of hostilities. During the ceasefire period, the KIO allocated its resources to economic development by investing in infrastructure projects including electricity, roads, health care, and education.
Simultaneously, the majority of ethnic ceasefire groups were actively engaged in the drafting of the 2008 Constitution in hopes of achieving genuine political reforms. Tragically, the ethnic groups’ 19 point-amendment proposal to inculcate the essence of federalism was entirely rejected at the National Convention.
June 9th, 2011, the Government’s Army launched an unprovoked attack against a KIA outpost and expanded its military aggression towards all corners of Kachin and Northern Shan States.
After months of peace efforts, a “De-escalation of Tension Agreement” was signed in Myitkyina, on May 31st, 2013. This led to a relative reduction in conflict during 2014, 2015, and the first half of 2016.
Coinciding with the start of the 21st Century Panglong Conference in Aug 2016, violating the 2013 Agreement, the Government’s Army reinitiated aggressive provocation by troop mobilization, overrunning of KIA posts, dropping of deadly barrel bombs, and the highest frequency of airstrikes in modern-day Burmese history.
In conjunction with the escalation of tension, residents have also witnessed systematic horrific violence against civilians, providing compelling evidence of war crimes. The National League for Democracy, which campaigned under the slogan of rule of law, remains inept at pressing the Government’s Army leadership to adhere to the international conventions of war.
We categorically condemn these systematic, widespread acts of violence against civilians by the Government’s Army and object any political party which evades addressing Tatmdaw’s culture of impunity or defends its brutalities in the interest of political expediency. The atrocities in Northern Burma must be addressed urgently. We do not want children who are born today to continue to suffer from the bloodshed and misery already endured for nearly seventy years.
We, Kachin communities, call upon:
The United Nations Security Council to open a discussion on war crimes committed by Government’s army during the past six years of conflict in Northern Burma.
The International Community to support a credible, impartial, and independent United Nations’ fact-finding mission into Northern Burma to verify and authenticate allegations of violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Government’s Army.
The European Union and the United States to continue arm embargoes and prohibit any further military to military engagement until the civil war is ended.
The Government’s Army to immediately end their offensives and withdraw troops from ethnic areas
Non-signatory Ethnic Armed Organizations, the Government’s Army, and NLD government to forge a meaningful Peace Agreement with tangible factors to mitigate future conflict, witnessed by the the international community.
The NLD government to replace the 2008 Constitution and fully commit to the creation of a genuine Federal Union, enshrined in the 1947 Panglong Agreement.
Members of political parties to halt fueling inter-ethnic and tribal tension and supplying of arms to selected villages and militia forces.
Download the statement (PDF) in
(c) 2017 Burma Link