Internally displaced persons (IDPs) living at Kachin Independence Organization’s (KIO) Laiza headquarters are building bunkers amid escalating tensions between KIO’s military wing, Kachin Independence Army (KIA), and Burma Army in Kachin and northern Shan State.
A woman living in Wai Jai IDP camp told KNG the camp leader ordered the IDPs to dig the makeshift bunker. She said that he told them to remain cautious, prepare dry rations and eat and sleep earlier. The woman witnessed most of the youth who are over eighteen attending basic military training.
In the past, Burma Army launched airstrikes and heavy weapons at Laiza, located in Kachin State, along the border with China.
Fighting between Burma Army and KIA resumed in Kachin State after the ethnic armed organization’s (EAO) Brigade 9 destroyed an army camp, attacked a People’s Militia Force camp and police station on March 11. The clashes happened several days after security forces killed several protesters in Myitkyina. Fighting is ongoing in KIA’s brigade 1 and 5.
Kachin youth organized flash protests in support of KIO/A in Myitkyina, Waingmaw and Namti, located in Kachin State. Demonstrators carried banners and placards pledging allegiance to the EAO for standing up for them after soldiers and police attacked protests.
In Myitkyina, the junta’s State Administration Council circulated flyers warning civilians KIA would attack them if they protested against the military regime.