Two Kachin Civilians Killed by Burmese Army Soldiers

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Burmese government troops
Burmese government troops

Burmese army soldiers from 318th Light Infantry Regiment (LIR) on Monday shot and killed Nbreng Gam Shawng, a 41-year-old Kachin IDP, near Mung Ding Pa village in Mansi Township, southern Kachin State at 5 am. Nbreng Gam Shawng has been living at an IDP camp in Mansi with his wife and 5 young children since fighting began in Mungding Pa last year. An aid worker said Gam Shawng was shot by Burmese government soldiers on the way to his old village as he wanted to sell his cows to support his family in Mansi.

Two Christian ministers, Maran Tawng Nu and Hpauyam Kai Ra, were stopped at gun point and harassed by the same soldiers from 318th LIR as they visit villagers’ houses for prayer services in Mungding Pa, said the aid worker.

On the same day, another Kachin civilian named Lashi Gam Seng was shot and killed by Burmese army’s 10th Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) soldiers at Nam Jang Gu Dawng village at around 8:30 pm. Nam Jang Gu Dawng village is located on the road between Muse and Nam Hkam in northern Shan State. Lashi Gam Seng is a 40-year-old local shop owner and married to a Karen woman. A local source said the soldiers got drunk and shooting randomly at Lashi Gam Seng’s shop. Lashi Gam Seng was pronounced dead on arrival of Muse General Hospital, said the source.

Hundreds of civilians including women and children have been killed by indiscriminate shelling and random shooting by Burmese army troops in Kachin region since the renewed war began in June, 2009 as they are permitted to shoot on sight in ethnic region whenever deemed necessary and innocent locals are often being shot as most civilians are considered to be supporters and informers of insurgent groups.

Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) released a statement last week saying, “A total of at least 70 women and young girls have suffered sexual violence by the Burma Army over the past 3 years; about half of them were killed. We deplore these continuing incidents of rape, and urge that the issue of military sexual violence be addressed as a matter of priority during peace negotiations.”

Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) said in a statement last year that over 200 villages had been destroyed and 66 churches had been looted and burned by government troops since renewed civil war began in Kachin region in June 2009.

Over 100,000 internally displaced persons left their homes and living in dozens of IDP camps under perilous conditions as the civil war in Kachin and northern Shan State continues unabated.