By Zin Linn
Political analysts and observers are deeply concerned about widespread war in Kachin State in Burma. The Thein Sein government has been slammed for breaking every promise with the ethnic ceasefire groups.
KIA officials repeatedly said the civil war will spread across Kachin and Shan states if the government continues its war against the Kachin Independence Organization. The latest series of armed clashes in Kachin state have prompted observers to say that intentional warfare in the border regions may not be avoidable.
The government’s poor handling of the Kachin situation seems to be pushing the nation into an abysmal series of tragedies. New military offensives by the Burmese army on the Kachin, Karen and Shan armed groups will steer the nation into a vicious downward spiral.
The National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Aung San Suu Kyi released a statement in June calling for both the government and the KIO to stop heavy fighting immediately in order to protect people’s lives and properties. It also called for peaceful talks between stakeholders to settle the decade-long political crisis of the country.
However, the government has turned a deaf ear to calls for peace.
Although government troops have suffered heavy casualties, the decision-makers are still dragging their heels about stopping this useless confrontation. They have no sympathy for their fallen soldiers.
Ongoing civil war in Kachin State has been intensifying in various fronts. On Tuesday, Burmese armed forces expanded their offensive in central Kachin State. The fighting took place around Ja Ing Yang Village, near Sinbo, in central Kachin State.
The People’s Army soldiers under the KIA’s 3rd Brigade in eastern Kachin geared up for self-protective warfare. During fighting against the People’s Army under the KIA, several government soldiers died in action, local residents said Wednesday.
As the momentum increases in the civil war in Burma’s northern Kachin State, about 40 Burma Army’s soldiers were killed in a single day, a Kachin Independence Army (KIA) source in the war zone confirmed on Tuesday.
According to one KIA officer in the frontline, there were no KIA casualties in Tuesday’s battle.
Skirmishing between government troops and Kachin people’s armed forces has been taking place daily in different areas in the Shadan Pa Valley, close to Ja Ing Yang, according to local inhabitants.
According to KIA officials in Laiza, since the last week of September hundreds of government troops have arrived in those areas likely to launch a new offensive against the KIA headquarters at Laiza.
The KIA strongholds at Laiza – Alen Bum, Laisin Bum, Hpalap Bum and Mai Ja Yang – in eastern Kachin State are close to the Chinese border, which is approximately 25 miles west of the current battle sites.
The Burmese army is heightening its offensives against the KIA strongholds, since Shadan Pa and Ja Ing Yang are situated at strategic positions, KIA officials said. The fighting continues in the two areas, natives in the war zone said. There are casualties daily.
The President of Burma should take into consideration that all the fallen soldiers – Burmese or Kachin – are citizens of this nation. If the new president and the government truly want to reconstruct the country into a democratic and developed society, all the wars with respective ethnic rebels including KIO/KIA must be immediately stopped.
If President Thein Sein has genuine inspiration of poverty alleviation, he must stop all forms of civil conflict that make the country underprivileged in the region. Most analysts agree that allowing civil war and saying poverty alleviation looks like an impractical guiding principle.
So, it is really important for the president to end the civil war, especially war against Kachin. By doing so, president has to show the country is on the right reform path and can gain trust domestically and internationally.