By Zin Linn
The hostilities between the Burmese military and ethnic Kachin get worse every day and the abuses are much worse than reported by the news media based outside the country.
In recent months, several women and girls were gang raped by Burmese soldiers. Many were killed after being raped. The soldiers raped and killed girls and women in front of their relatives. Many civilians were forced to work as porters for them. In frontline areas, Burmese soldiers are committing crimes freely and with impunity.
Most recently, Kachin woman was kidnapped and gang-raped on the frontline of Mu Bum Mountain by Burmese Army troops, Kachin News Group reported.
28-year-old Sumlut Roi Ja, the mother of a 14-month-old daughter, was kidnapped and gangraped for nearly a week since October 28 by Burmese soldiers in the Mu Bum post, said her relatives. Sumlut Roi Ja is from Hkai Bang village near the China border in Sub-Loije Township in Manmaw (Bhamo) district. The Hkai Bang is situated on the mountainside of Mu Bum and the villagers there cultivate paddy in the mountain, which is close to the Loije in Kachin State and Jang Hkawng in China’s Yunnan province.
Roi Ja’s gang rape has shocked the villagers of Hkai Bang and they are now fleeing to safer places, said KNG. Three women were abducted earlier and have been kept at the military post so far. They are treated as sex slaves for Burmese soldiers at the post. They are also forced to cook and carry water, according to two porters, who recently escaped from the military post.
The Kachin Women’s Association of Thailand released a report revealing the government of Burma’s atrocities against Kachin people during the past four months during its current war against Kachin resistance forces since June 9.
A report by KWAT entitled “Burma’s Covered Up War: Atrocities Against the Kachin People”, released on October 7, stated the Burma Army broke a 17 year ceasefire with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and has committed killings, torture and sexual violence, displacing over 25,000 people.
The report said 37 women and girls were raped and 13 were killed during the first two months of the conflict in Kachin State. On September 24, Burma Army soldiers committed three separate rapes involving two girls, aged 14 and 17, and one woman, aged 40, in Muse and Kutkai townships, according to KWAT documents.
These incidents are not random acts of violence, said KWAT spokesperson Shirley Seng. The Burma Army is committing gang-rape and killing on a wide scale. It is clear they are acting under orders, Shirley Seng said.
KWAT demands that the regime immediately stops using rape as a weapon of war, ends the offensive against Kachin and other ethnic groups, and withdraws from the ethnic areas. KWAT urged the international community to depart its “wait and see” procedure with Burma and fetch improved pressure on the military-dominated government to end its military offensive and atrocities, and also grant needed humanitarian aid without delay to the Kachin IDPs.
“The failed policy allowed the government to start the new war against the Kachin people as well as it lets it carry on attacking women and children. ‘Wait and See’ is a death sentence for us,” Shirley Seng said.