KIO urges UN to send observers

On behalf of Kachin Independence Organization’s central committee, Chairman Lanyaw Zawng Hra sent a letter (To Mr. Ban Ki-moon) to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on May 15, 2012. In the letter, Lanyaw Zawng Hra highlighted Burmese government’s ongoing conflicts with ethnic nationalities in Burma’s border regions. As troop buildups continue and fighting intensifies, big and small towns close to the conflict zone are being burned and destroyed by the Burmese Army, Lanyaw Zawng Hra said in the letter.

The letter also said that an increased number of civilians from the government administered towns and villages are fleeing to KIO administered areas to seek shelter and requested for UN’s continued assistance.

Lanyaw Zawng Hra mentioned that the Burmese Army is not only waging war against the KIO/KIA but also against the Kachin population as a whole and the government’s Army is now engaged in ethnic cleansing and conflict has now turned from one of political to racial in nature.

KIO Central Committee requested the Secretary General in the letter to send UN observer teams or intermediary teams to the conflict war zones, and to the towns and villages destroyed by the Burmese Army, and to the IDP camps in KIO areas.

A total of 60275 refugees and IDPs (as of March 2012, Map of IDP & Refugee Camps) in Kachin and Shan State has been displaced and living at temporary camps since the beginning of war in June 9 of last year, according to a crisis map compiled by Kachin relief groups. There is a dramatic increase of refugees and IDPs beginning mid-April as fighting escalates in former NDA-K controlled areas.

A Kachin relief group, Wunpawng Ninghtoi, said in early May that foods are running out in storage houses. The group requested that basic food items such as rice, salt, oil, potato and bean are urgently needed. There are about 14000 IDPs (3350 households) under the care of Wunpawng Ninghtoi relief group. Two camp sites (La Ying and Nawng Tau) are located in China side of the border and five other camps are located at Seng Mai Pa, Nbapa, Je Gau, Ung Lung and Gat Pa.

Fighting has intensified as there is a surge of Burmese troop deployment in areas close to Kachin administrative capital Laiza. KIA’s capital security forces have fought against Burmese Army’s 388th LIR at Na Lung and Laja Yang on May 17 at 6 am. Burmese Army reportedly fired several rounds of 105 mm shells from its Hkang Kai Hill to Na Lung and Laja Yang village.

Daily fighting continues at former KIA’s Pan Tsun Post between KIA’s 19th Battalion under 5th Brigade and Burmese Army. KIA’s 3rd Brigade deterred an unknown Burmese Army’s battalion advancing towards Lagat Bum on May 16 at 7 pm, a frontline source said.