Tatmadaw Targets Civilians Following Military Defeat in Kachin State, KWAT Says

Following a series of embarrassing military defeat during the conflict with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the Burma Army increased attacks on civilians, a Kachin Women’s Association of Thailand (KWAT) report has found.

According to KWAT’s June 16 report, the Tatmadaw committed human rights abuses against civilians in Kachin State in response to KIA seizing several strategic military camps in Kachin State.

After KIA overran the military on Alaw Bum on March 25, Burma Army shelled civilians in Momauk Township with artillery and soldiers and moved into villages, displacing 6,000 people from Momauk and Bhamo towns. The artillery attacks killed at least 9 people and injured at least 15, including 3 children.

Tatmadaw arrested many youths, accusing them of associating with the KIA in Myitkyina, Mohnyin and Karmine townships. Some ways soldiers tortured the youths included beating them with the butt of their gun and burning them with cigarettes.

“Before the coup, Burma Army committed human rights abuses in the Kachin areas. Everything is in their hands after the coup and they’re free to do whatever they want. This is why it’s important to release this human rights report highlighting what they are doing to the civilians in our area,” Moon Nelly from KWAT explained to KNG.

Moong Nelly implored the international community to take action against the regime for the brutality the Burma Army has committed against civilians. She wants humanitarian assistance  for civilians and the villagers displaced by the conflict.

Moon Nelly pointed out how Army Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing attended a recent ASEAN meeting even though the coalition of Asian countries hasn’t officially recognized the junta as the government of Burma.

“We want ASEAN to recognize National Unity Government as our official government and request the international community to establish an arms embargo against the Burma Army and a ‘no-fly zone’ for Burma.”

KWAT promotes the rights of Kachin women while reporting on human rights abuses in areas where Kachin nationalities reside. The organisation was established in the northern Thai city Chiang Mai in 1999.

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