Free Burma Rangers: Burma Army burns and loots homes in Kachin State
FBR REPORT: Kachin State – Burma Army Burns and Loots Homes in Wai Maw District
Free Burma Rangers
Fighting between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Burma Army broke out on 9 June 2011, ending a 17-year cease-fire agreement between the two groups. As many as 20,000 people have been displaced by the fighting in Kachin State, according to local networks helping IDPs in Laiza. KIA sources have said that the number of standing Burma Army battalions before the conflict began was 93. Currently there are 113 battalions in Kachin State with more troops on the way, according to KIA sources. Divisions 33, 88, and 99 are currently operating in Kachin State.
On 16 October 2011, approximately 200 Burma Army soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 438 and Infantry Battalion (IB) 121 attacked Nam San Yang Village in Wai Maw District, Kachin State. The soldiers burned over 30 houses and stayed for 3 days in the village occupying the village temple.
All the villagers from Nam San Yang Village have fled their homes and are staying with relatives or in IDP camps in Laiza. Other villagers are living in huts in their fields as it is now harvest time and they do not want to lose this year’s crops. The Burma Army is still patrolling from their nearby camp down into the village making it difficult for the villagers to reclaim their left belongings and farm their fields.
In an earlier report by FREE BURMA RANGERS the following was stated:
On 9 June 2011 fighting started between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Burma Army. The fighting was started by a dispute between the two armies over control of the area surrounding the Chinese-run Taping hydropower projects. This ended the 17-year ceasefire between the two armies. For more information, go to: Fighting in Kachin State ends 17-year cease-fire (http://www.freeburmarangers.org/Reports/2011/20110704.html )
At least 15,668 people in Kachin State have fled their homes for safety along the China-Burma border, according to the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO). Most of these people fled because of KIO warnings that there may be fighting in the area. As of now, the Burma Army and KIO have only engaged in small attacks between camps while cease-fire negotiations continue. If the political talks fail, there may likely be more fighting which would cause more people to abandon their homes to seek safety on the border. The Burma Army has sent a total of 68 Battalions to all of Kachin State.
The Free Burma Rangers (FBR), conduct relief, advocacy, leadership development and unity missions among the people of Burma.
Relief: FBR teams provide emergency medical, educational, spiritual, material and general assistance to people who suffer under the oppression of the dictators of Burma. Teams move through out the conflict areas to give aid and comfort and also conduct leadership training, as well as medical, educational, reporting and general capacity building for people inside Burma. Teams also document human rights violations and report to the relevant authorities. Priority of assistance goes to the Internally Displaced People (IDP), of Burma as well as to those who’s villages have recently been attacked by the Burma Army. FBR teams stand in solidarity with those who suffer and assist people of all races and faiths.
Advocacy: FBR reports regularly on the situation inside Burma, sending information to supporters, news media, other NGOs and governments. In addition, FBR supports the annual Global Day of Prayer for Burma.
Leadership: In addition to relief and reporting, other results of the teams’ actions are the development of leadership capacity, civil society and the strengthening of inter-ethnic unity. The FBR conducts leadership development and communications training in order to strengthen civil society, build leadership capacity and develop communications. Communications tools such as radio broadcasts, cassette tapes, print media are used in the ongoing effort for reconciliation and unity.
Ethnic Unity: FBR helps coordinate annual seminars between the ethnic groups of Burma as well as the pro-democracy Burmans.
For more information regarding this attack:
Democratic Voice of Burma - http://www.dvb.no/news/troops-raze-kachin-villages-locals-flee/18666
Christian Solidarity Worldwide - http://dynamic.csw.org.uk/article.asp?t=press&id=1260
Please visit the Free Burma Rangers at http://www.freeburmarangers.org for more information about the ongoing crisis.
All images belong to Free Burma Rangers