Myanmar talks peace and ceasefire, but continues to wage ethnic wars against the Kachins

The Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and Mone Dane Par residents have reported that the clashes between the Kachin Independence Army(KIA)and governmental forcesin Man Si Township, Ba Maw District, continued to rage untilfinally ceasing on the morning of 1 October.

The skirmish had lasted for three days, having begun on 29 September, and was fought by 12 subordinate battalions from KIA’s Division (3) and three governmental battalions.

“The battle began near ChaungLan Jae Goung, right under Man Si Highway. On 30 September it had moved close to the Kha Chin village, and today, [1 October],a war was raging near KaungJa village,” said U Dwae Pi Sar, the chief at the KIO Refugee Relief Committee.

He added that the government army had reported six casualties but that there currently are no reported fatalities from the KIO. He also does not believe that the fighting is over, as he notes that the government has continued to send battalions to Man Si from Moe Meik Township.

A resident ofMone Dane Par village told Mizzima that she was also concerned that she had not seen the last of the fighting.

“We are living in constant worry. We have to run from here to there. We stay in the village if the battlesare not very serious. Now, we want to run into the forest, but we can’t because government troops are camping there,” she said.

The villager continued by saying that that the government column and KIA battalions also fought between Nam Lin Par and TharnDadar villages on 30 September. The Ba-Maw District was the only safe refuge for those uninvolved in the fighting; however, the Ba-Maw highway was closed while the battles were taking place. The highway iscurrently open for public use.

The government army and the KIA had clashed near the Mine Khaung and Nam Lin Par villages on 11 and 12September. Furthermore, a government brigade was seen at Sum Pi Ram village, which lies between Pu-Ta-O and Sum Para Bom Townships within Pu-Ta-O District, northern Kachin State, last Sunday.

However, U Htun Kyaing, the Pyithu Hluttaw MP from the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), toldMizzima that his organizationwas unaware of any of the sites where the battles had taken place.

“What we heard is that government troopswere heading [to Man Si Township] to collect rations. A battle broke outas they were en route. They were not supposed to fight,” he said.

The Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC) and the KIO will engage in peace discussions in MyitKyi Nar Township on 8 October. Technical teams from both parties will hold preliminary talks on 2 and 3 October.

Source:  Mizzima News, 2 Oct 2012
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