By Zin Linn
Although President Thein Sein has issued an order dated 10-December to Burma’s Commander-in-Chief to stop the fighting against the KIO, the Burmese soldiers in the Kachin-frontline do not obey the presidential guidance so far. On the contrary, the war keeps going on and Kachin natives continue running and hiding for their lives in the jungle.
So, the observers consider that whether the military chief abides by the presidential order. Saying peace words as its policy, the government is raising its offensive against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) on the other hand. The Burma Army’s all-out offensives are becoming higher than ever in Kachin State.
The fighting seems ruthless as Burmese soldiers commit various crimes – such as looting, killing, raping and burning down the civilians’ villages – on this brutal front line. In fact, ordinary Kachin people are just naive citizens of the country and soldiers should spare their lives and belongings.
In recent months, several native 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 or human shield for government forces.
More than 30,000 displaced victims have sought shelter at government-run camps in eastern Kachin State in mid-December, putting a strain on limited food supplies, mostly from local donors.
According to the BBC Burmese Service Radio, fighting are going on in the KIA 4th Brigade controlled area in Northern Shan State, since 25 December to date. As said by a KIA 4th Brigade commander Col. Zaw Rao, government troops fired with artilleries for eight rounds and they also used chemical weapons yesterday battle.
Some KIA fighters suffered dizziness and vomit due to government soldiers’ poisonous mortar shells, the KIA officer said. Although KIA’s side had no wounded persons, government troops had at least ten casualties in yesterday armed conflict, Col. Zaw Rao said.
In actual fact, President Thein Sein has released an order to halt fighting in the Kachin frontline since 10 December. But, during Christmas period, Col. Zaw Rao said that the government armed forces have continued open fire on KIA troops sporadically. It’s amazing that even though the president has ordered for ceasefire, the government forces on the frontline turn a deaf ear to his order, col. Zaw Rao told the BBC.
Hence, it is really essential for the president to try influencing on his armed forces to abide by the presidential instructions. And also, it’s time to end the civil war, particularly the war against KIA.
If Burmese troops have used chemical weapons, the president must resolutely order them to stop immediately. By doing so, president has to show the country is on the right transformation path. This act of using prohibited weapon breaks the Geneva Protocol which banned use of chemical and biological weapons in both civil and foreign conflicts. President Thein Sein’s government has to take responsibility for the use of such chemical weapons.
Meanwhile, President Thein Sein’s peacemaking team leader Aung Min exposed he has prepared to meet the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), the alliance of 11 armed groups in which Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) is a key member. He announced the plan during a meeting with Hkun Okker from PaO National Liberation Organization (PNLO), in Bangkok.
Burmese people are confused over the war between the KIA and Burma Army. While the president is speaking about the importance of national unity, his government army has been increasing the hostilities in ethnic Kachin areas.
So, it becomes a question among the societies, as the government soldiers disobey the guide-line of the country’s highest authoritative president. People are curious whether there are high-ranking military officers who disagree with the president’s policy of political change.