The 7th Anniversary of the Renewed Kachin War: An Update
Today is the 7th anniversary of renewed war in the Kachin region. On June 9, 2011, the war between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Burma Army (BA) was reignited after a combined force of the BA’s 437th Light Infantry Regiment and 348th Light Infantry Regiment troops launched an attack on the KIA 15th Battalion’s Bumsan post in Sanggang, located near Taping hydropower plant in Momauk Township. It effectively ended the 17-year ceasefire that had been in place since 1994.
Lance Corporal Gawmo Chang Ying, a KIO liason officer in Sanggang was arrested, tortured and killed by BA troops. At the request of the KIO’s Central Committee, Chang Ying’s body was returned to KIA troops on June 10, 2011, and it was found that he had suffered multiple bruises, stab wounds, and bayonet wounds. Chang Ying had reportedly been shot three times even after death.
The KIO requested the BA to stop sending troops and transporting military hardware to the Kachin frontlines following the Sanggang incident, but the BA ignored the KIO’s request. On June 12, 2011, the KIO Central Committee gave orders for KIA forces to open fire on BA troops as a defensive measure.
According to KIO official sources and local frontline updates, there have been 3862 clashes between the two sides, which involvedsoldier on soldier combat, artillery and landmine attacks, from June 11, 2011 to May 31, 2018.
There were 663 clashes between the KIA and the BA in 2011, 879 clashesin 2012, 224 clashes in 2013, and 155 clashes in 2014.
Fighting between the KIA and the BA escalated after the NLD was elected as government in 2015. In 2015, there were 634 clashes, 740 clashes in 2016, 361 clashes in 2017, 206 clashes from January to May in 2018.
BA troops from at least 108 Infantry battalions from Myitkyina-based Northern Command, Mandalay-based Central Command, Monywa-based Northwestern Command, Pathein-based Southwestern Command, Danai-based Regional Operations Command, Mogaung-based 3rd Military Operations Command, Bhamo-based 21st Military Operations Command, Hpegon-based 7th Military Operations Command, Sagaing-based 33rdLight Infantry Division, Pegu-based 77th Light Infantry Division, Magway-based 88th Light Infantry Division, Meiktila-based 99th Light Infantry Division, and Tennesserim-based 101st Light Infantry Division currently deployed in Kachin State.
In northern Shan State, thousands of BA troops from at least 90 Infantry battalions from Lashio-based North Eastern Command, Kyaukme-based 1st Military Operations Command, Hpugyi-based 4th Military Operations Command, Kyigone-based 10th Military Operations Command,Theinni-based 16th Military Operations Command, Lau Kai-based Regional Operations Command, Hlegu-based 11th Light Infantry Division, Aungban-based 55th Light Infantry Division, Pyay-based 66th Light Infantry Division, Pegu-based 77th Light Infantry Division, and Magway-based 88th Light Infantry Division are currently being deployed.
Human rights abuses and arbitrary killings (2011 – 2018)
1. An estimated 124 innocent civilians have been tortured, killed by BA forces.
2. 34 Kachin women have been raped.
3. About 300 innocent civilians have been rounded up and imprisoned.
4. 78 received permanent injuries, as a result of suffering torture at the hand of BA troops.
It is likely that there are many more unreported cases of torture, rape and imprisonment.
Destruction and occupation of churches, monasteries, childcare centers, schools, clinics (2011 – 2018)
The following are the numbers KLN obtained from KIO official sources, and local aid organizations:
311 churches damaged or destroyed
24 Buddhist monasteries occupied or left damaged by BA troops
134 childcare centers damaged or destroyed
122 schools damaged or destroyed
264 clinics damaged or destroyed
Kachin local faith-based and aid organizations report that about 130,000 villagers and residents have been displaced since the renewed war began in June 2011. They are living in 165 camps in areas controlled by both the Burmese government and the KIO.
In 2018 alone, over 6,000 persons were internally displaced and forced to move to IDP camps. KLN has obtained some updates on the latest IDP situation. The following are the IDPs and camps added in 2017-18 due to BA offensives in central Kachin state.
(1) Jaw Masat IDP Camp Numbers of IDPs (489)
(2) Trinity IDP Camp Numbers of IDPs (724)
(3) Tanghpre IDP Camp Numbers of IDPs (1223)
(1) Qtr.2 Lhaovo Baptist Church Numbers of IDPs (49)
(2) Maina AG Hpyen Yen Dabang Numbers of IDPs (52)
(3) Shangaw/ Hka Wan Dabang Numbers of IDPs (194)
(4) Maina KBC Hpyen Yen Dabang Numbers of IDPs (89)
(1) Lhaovo Baptist Church (LBC) Numbers of IDPs (215)
(2) Chi-hpwi KBC Camp Numbers of IDPs (198)
(1) Tanai Dabang Nnan Numbers of IDPs (268)
(2) Kamai Hpyen Yen Dabang Numbers of IDPs (142)
(1) Lawa Hpyen Yen Dabang Numbers of IDPs (145)
(1) Namti, Lambraw Yang KBC IDP Camp Numbers of IDPs (308)
(2) Zup Mai Yang IDP Camp Numbers of IDPs (219)
(3) Namti AG Hpyen Yen Dabang Numbers of IDPs (83)
(4) Namti RC Hpyen Yen Dabang Numbers of IDPs (104)
(5) Myo Oo RC Hpyen Yen Dabang Numbers of IDPs (174)
(1) Tayang Zup Hpyen Yen Dabang Numbers of IDPs (114)
(1) Momauk Numbers of IDPs (82)
Destroyed and Abandoned Villages
To date, 405 villages have been damaged in the Kachin region since the renewed war began in June 2011. From Jan to May 2018, about 50 villages were abandoned and the villagers forced to live in IDPs camps and relatives’ houses. The following is the latest list of abandoned villages in Danai, Sumprabum, Kamaing, Mogaung and Hpakant townships in 2018.
(02) Zang Nawng
(03) Yin Chyin
(04) Lawk Gam
(05) Myaw Maw Pa
(06) Na Law
(07) Lawng Hpam
(08) Man Dong
(09) Ja Wa
(12) Wulawng Yang
(13) Nai Tsing
(14) Gwi Htau
(15) Tang Bau Yang
(16) Nlawt Yang
(17) Zup Mai Yang
(18) Ja Htu Yang
(19) Sut Ngai Yang
(20) Patsip Zup
(21) Bum Nen Yang
(22) Sani Tu Yang
(23) Gum San Yang
(24) Bum Se Zup
(25) Kumtsai Taw Yang
(26) Pung Swi Yang
(27) Htara Zup
(28) Hkridaw Ga
(29) Jingma Yang
(30) Dubau Kawng Ra
(31) Tingsau Yang
(32) Hpawlam Hpya
(34) Ndung Yang
(35) Tsa Tsing Pa
(36) Awng Lawt
(37) Zup Mai Yang
(38) Nawng Nyeng
(39) Nam Hkam
(40) N-ga Ga
(41) Nam Gawn
(42) Pawk Wa
(43) Awng Ba
(44) Ja Awng Pa
(45) Awng Len
Deaths and Injuries from landmines in 2018
From January to May 2018, 13 civilians were killed and 39 civilians were injured by landmines.
The following is a list of civilians killed or injured in 2018.