The chair of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) in his New Year’s address has exhorted civilian resistance groups to stop all attacks on civilians and public facilities, including schools and hospitals. ”I would urge resistance groups not to threaten anyone not directly involved with the military. They must work for justice and not commit human rights violations,” said Gen N’ban La.
In late November, the KIO instructed its military arm, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), to warn the People’s Defence Forces (PDFs) in its area after a bomb blast wounded teachers and damaged a school in Mawsizar in Hpakant Township.
Last year, the PDFs issued a statement threatening parents and their children attending regime-supported schools. A bomb damaged a school in Momauk town in Bhamo District last June.
After the military overthrew the democratic government almost a year ago, health workers walked off the job, followed by teachers and their students and many other civil servants. The regime has tried to force people to return to work and some government schools have reopened.
Many of the PDFs have received training and support by KIA and often launch ambushes together against the junta forces.
In 2021, everyone supported Burma’s revolution, the KIO leader said, while rejecting the military. If the KIO, its affiliated groups and the people work hard, we will be victorious this year, Gen N’ban La said.