Kachin ethnics stage protest to rescue trapped residents in clashes

Tun Lin Aung
Kachin ethnics stage protest to rescue trapped residents in clashes in Myitkyina. (Photo-Tun Lin Aung)

Kachin ethnics staged a protest in Mawnaw sports ground, Myitkyina on February 5 with the aim of rescuing the local people who are trapped in the clashes being broken out between government army and the KIA.

The demonstrators chanted slogans “We don’t want brutal killing of innocent people”, “Stop man shield”, and “Immediate stop of bombardment to innocent people”.

“Our aim of staging the protest is rescue those being trapped in Sunprabun, Tanai and northern Shan regions. The government is launching offensives in all parts of northern Shan State. There are more than 1,000 residents trapped in the clashes between government army and the KIA in Tanai region. We would like both sides to negotiate in a quick manner. The people are in trouble. We would like ethnic armed groups to attain what they want. If not so, we don’t think clashes will come to a stop,” organizer Zaw Jet said.

Hsaing Khun, a returnee from Hukaung region, said: “Airstrikes were being launched on January 26. It killed a male and injured three people. The government army was attacking with heavy weapons the whole day. The residents are afraid of the severe attacks. On January 27, attacks to Payin mountain were launched with the help of heavy weapons. The KIA ordered the people to move to safer places. There were more than 3,000 there, organizer Zaw Jet said.

“On January 28, the residents moved to Nantkon. Some stepped on the mines on the way and were dead. Since then, the displaced persons could not be controlled. The military column blocked the path of the displaced persons. On January 29, women, elderly persons and mine suffering patients were freed. The government army told the displaced persons to go to Maingkhun. But the KIA told them not to go there as it was the road full of mines. Therefore, IDPs are trapped between the government army and the KIA. On January 30, the government army confiscated phone cards, memory cards, knives, torches and batteries from the displaced persons. There had been a shortage of provisions. There are more than 1000 still left until now.”  

Translated by Win Htut