State terror in the Kachin hills

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World must act to end Burmese military aggression against Kachin

A new report by the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) details widespread civilian casualties from recent Burma Army offensives in Kachin areas and urges international pressure to end military aggression against the Kachin people.

“State Terror in the Kachin Hills” documents the killing or injury of 26 civilians, including women, children and the elderly, by Burma Army shelling during offensives against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) since September 2012. Attacks have continued in the past few days, despite ongoing peace talks.

Shelling of civilians has taken place across Kachin State: in the jade mining town of Hpakant; the town of Mayan near Myitkyina; an IDP camp near Pangwa on the China border, as well as the border town of Laiza, where mortars were launched indiscriminately in an area populated by over 20,000 civilians, many of whom were internally displaced.

Burmese troops have also deliberately destroyed civilian settlements, including an IDP camp sheltering over 300 on the Shan-China border near Kyukok (Pangsai), which was torched in November 2012.

KWAT is calling for re-imposition of sanctions against the Burmese government, and for a UN-led Commission of Inquiry to investigate crimes against humanity and war crimes in Burma.

“Without international pressure, Burma’s government will continue using force to crush ethnic dissent,” said KWAT coordinator Moon Nay Li. “Even while the government is talking peace, they are launching war.”

Maps in the report show the devastating extent of the war in northern Burma, with 364 villages wholly or partially abandoned, and over 100,000 people internally displaced, most of whom have received hardly any international aid.

Despite a government announcement earlier this month that humanitarian aid would be allowed to IDPs in Kachin-controlled areas, an international aid convoy to Laiza was blocked on February 25.

The new report can be viewed here : State terror in the Kachin hills