Protests Held Against Burma Army’s Kachin State Offensives

Residents of Mytkyina, the Kachin State capital, and Tanai staged demonstrations on 3 October to protest against the ongoing Burma Army offensives against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in northern Kachin State.

The protest march at Tanai took place as planned, but in Myitkyina the protest was only held at the Manau Ground because the authorities stopped the protesters from going out on to the streets according to protest organisers.

At the two protests the protesters called on the Burma Army to immediately halt its offensives in northern Kachin State and to halt human rights abuses it is committing within those conflict areas.

The protesters also denounced the army for preventing aid from reaching internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camps and for preventing inspectors from going to the camps to check on the conditions there.

Thousands of people attended the Myitkyina protest and hundreds of people attended the Tanai protest.

Local police from Myitkyina said that action would be taken against the Kachin National Consultative Assembly (KNCA) who organised the protest because they did not apply for permission to hold the protest five days before the Myitkyina protest, said the KNCA’s Daw Nang Pu.

Despite this there are still plans to hold another protest in Myitkyina on 6 October.

Since last month (September 2016) the Burma Army has been launching land and air offensives against KIA strongholds using helicopter gunships, aircraft and large numbers of ground troops.

President U Htin Kyaw’s administration and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi have not responded to, or made any comments about, the army’s offensives in Kachin State and fighting between the army and other ethnic armed groups in the northern areas of Burma.

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