KIA Arrests End Plans to Establish PMF in Putao Township

Seven people accused of organising a pro-junta People’s Militia Force (PMF) in Lung Sha Yang and Hpakmar were detained by Kachin Independence Army (KIA) soldiers in Putao Township, northern Kachin State.

In September, KIA Battalion 7, under the command of Brigade 1, detained four people from Hpakmar and three people, including a pastor, were arrested from Lung Sha Yang on October 31. All are still detained in the Kachin armed group’s camp.

An anonymous source on the ground said the arrests have terrified the community and ended efforts to form a PMF. Some of the other organisers have reportedly told the regime’s Infantry Battalion 46 that they have changed their minds about the plan after the KIA detained the seven people.

Since the coup, PMF leader U Shwe Min has been trying to establish a checkpoint between the villages where around 400 Lisu families live. The Lisu National Development Party has reportedly convinced some villagers to lead the efforts in the two villages, and these plans have been discussed in some Lisu Christian churches.

“If a PMF is formed, there will be many social problems if KIA soldiers and Lisu PMF soldiers operate in the same area. This will cause both sides to restrict travel and there will be clashes,” the source said. He admitted that he doesn’t agree with the idea of a PMF or the establishment of one in his area.

On the 63rd anniversary of the KIA and its political wing, the Kachin Independence Organisation, KIO chair Gen N’ban La, told people not to join the PMFs under the military regime in Kachin State.

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