Saturday, May 23, 2009

KIA gearing up for defensive war with Burmese junta

Written by KNG

War seems to be in the offing with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), one of largest ethnic ceasefire groups in Burma, preparing to defend itself following pressure on it to transform into a battalion of the "Border Security Force" by the junta, said KIA sources.

At a KIA military meeting in Laiza HQ on the Sino-Burma border in Kachin State on May 18 and 19, KIA's Chief of Staff Maj-Gen Gunhtang Gam Shawng told participants that the KIA will try to maintain peace and not start an offensive war against the Burmese regime. But it is necessary to be ready for a defensive war, said KIA sources.

The upshot is that the inevitable civil war may be resumed between the KIA and the Burman-controlled regime of the country because the KIA will neither disarm nor transform itself to a "Border Security Force" until the political problems are solved, according to KIA officials in Laiza HQ.

At the meeting, both men and women of KIA and its political wing, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), were also told that it is essential to join the war. The briefing was by KIA Chief of Staff and KIO/A Vice-chairman N'ban La Awng, the coup leader of KIO/A, said KIA officers who attended the meeting.

The KIA meeting participants added, the two KIA chiefs instructed fellow KIA officers to round up all KIA deserters and be ready with guns, weapons and ammunition. They were also instructed to again explain to both people in the organizations and people in their controlled areas regarding the latest pressure by the regime for transforming the KIA.

The meeting was attended by KIO/A officers from all four brigades (three brigades are based in Kachin State and one brigade is based in Northeast Shan State) including Brigade Commander (B.C), Order of Brigade Commander (O.B.C), Army Division Command Commander, Commanders of Army Divisions, Battalion Commanders, Commanders of Military Operation and District Officers (D.O), said KIA officers in Laiza HQ.

The KIO/A leaders were officially informed to transform the KIA into a battalion of the "Border Security Force" which is to also include Burmese soldiers by the regime's Northern Command commander Brig-Gen Soe Win when they were called to a meeting in the Northern Command HQ in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State on April 28.

KIO, the political wing was also advised to form a political party and contest the general elections next year, by Commander Brig-Gen Soe Win.

On May 21, the KIO delegates led by Vice-president I Lt-Gen Gauri Zau Seng and Maj-Gen Ye Myint, the regime's Chief of Office of Military Affairs (Sa Ya Pha) met for the second time in the Northern Command HQ. However they agreed to solve the issue through a "Peace Mediator Group", said KIO leaders.

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