KACHIN INDEPENDENCE ORGANIZATION
15 May, 2012
His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
Secretary-General of the United Nations
Unite d Nation Headquarters
NewYork, NY 10017, USA
Dear Mr. Secretary-General,
1. The KIO Central Committee of the Kachin People in Burma, would like to express its deep appreciation to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for the historic steps taken during his visit to Burma, April, 29,2Ol2 to May, l, 2OI2. During that time, the Secretary General met with President Thein Sein at Napyidaw, and in a speech to Parliament, hailed the reform steps taken by his government. The Secretary General also praised the government for its handling of conflicts with ethnic minorities, but cautioned that if a resolution to the ongoing armed conflict with the KIO is not found soon, there would be an escalation of human rights violations and IDPs in Kachin State. The KIO is also encouraged to note that on his return to UN Headquarters, the Secretary General urged world leaders to help with Burma's democratic process. It is hoped that at this critical time when Burma is transitioning itself into a democratic nation, the Secretary General will continue to involve himself in finding answers to the country's many political and ethnic problems.
2. Ongoing conflicts with ethnic minorities in Burma's border regions: Currently in Kachin State, the Burmese Army is engaged in massive troop buildups and intensifying its offensive against the KIO. In the process, big and small towns close to the conflict zone are being burned and destroyed by the Burmese Army. This has resulted in a surge of human rights violations and crimes against humanity. As a result, an increased number of civilians from the government administered towns and villages are fleeing to KIO administered areas to seek shelter. The KIO is grateful to the UN agencies that visited the IDP camps and rendered assistance to the IDPs. The KIO would like to request that the Secretary General continue to facilitate visits by UN personnel to conflict zones and IDP camps in Kachin State, so that appropriate assistance can be arranged and provided to the IDPs.
3. A ceasefire agreement between the government and the KIO was signed in Kachin State on February 24, 1994. The agreement was co-signed by the 9 delegate members of the Government, the KIO, and the mediators. The KIO had high hopes that in accordance with the roadmap drawn by the government, genuine political dialogue would ensue when a new government is formed after the holding of a general election. However, the new government launched a military offensive against the KIO on June 9, 2011. Since then, there has been a major surge of Burmese Army deployment to Kachin State, and fighting has intensified. It has been almost a year since the renewed fighting, and there is strong evidence that the Burmese Army is not only waging war against the KIO/ICA but also against the Kachin population as a whole. The Burmese Army is now engaged in ethnic cleansing, and the conflict has now turned from one of political to racial in nature. The time is now crucial for the UN to intervene before the conflict becomes even wider and more complex. Therefore, we KIO Central Committee, earnestly implore the Secretary General 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 to which these townspeople have fled, so that timely and appropriate assistance might be provided.
Central Committee, KIO
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