Residents from Shahtuzup village in Kachin State’s Hukawng Valley believe that two men that have been missing since Friday are being detained by the Burma Army. Since the beginning of the month, the area has been a scene of heavy fighting with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
Elders from Sanpya Ward in Shahtuzup, where the men are from, met with soldiers to ask for their release but were told to return later with their identification. When they came back with papers in hand, the soldiers said they were too busy with the fighting to look into the matter, causing great concern for the men’s families and their fellow villagers.
The names of the missing man are Ndau Awng and Galang Awng.
Fighting between the KIA Brigade 2’s Battalion 14 and Burma Army has caused the displacement of over 1,000 people. The school in Shahtuzup has also been closed down since last Saturday.
Residents of Hka Da Zup and Lawt Ja villages reported that the Burma Army deployed heavy weapons for 30 minutes this Sunday.
All the gold mines in the area controlled by KIA Battalion 14 to the west of Shahtuzup have closed since the fighting started, which started only days after the armed group’s political wing; the Kachin Independence Organization, hosted the ethnic summit in eastern Kachin State.