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Armed conflict in Kachin State - hostilities

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Kachin Battle Report
Description/subject: Articles on offensives, peace talks etc. from February 2011
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mizzima
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 March 2012


Individual Documents

Title: FBR Report: Attacks Continue as the Burma Army Maneuvers in Kachin State
Date of publication: 13 April 2013
Description/subject: Below is a list of Burma Army activities in Kachin State and Northern Shan State in April, including attacks, troop movements and resupply operations...For other reports on the conflict in Kachin and other states, go to http://www.freeburmarangers.org
Language: English
Source/publisher: Free Burma Rangers
Format/size: pdf (128K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.freeburmarangers.org
Date of entry/update: 18 April 2013


Title: Air War in Kachinland: Burma Military Air Attacks on Kachin Territory, December 4, 2012 - January 18, 2013
Date of publication: 18 January 2013
Description/subject: "This Project Maje report provides a summary of current (as of January 18, 2013) information on the use of aircraft in the North War. For background on the origins of the conflict, and maps, see Project Maje's reports The North War: A Kachin Conflict Compilation Report (August 2011) and The North War, Part II: The Kachin Conflict Continues (December 2011.) This update report is intended as convenient background information for journalists, military analysts, and others interested in the situation in Kachinland..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Project Maje
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 21 March 2013


Title: Myanmar airstrikes reopen ethnic wounds
Date of publication: 10 January 2013
Description/subject: "The past few weeks have seen some of the heaviest fighting in Myanmar's decades-long civil war with government forces launching determined attacks against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), an ethnic force in the far north of the country. And for the first time ever, the government has used helicopter gunships and attack aircraft against the country's ethnic rebels. Most of the fighting is taking place around the KIA's headquarters at the border town of Laiza near China, and the government seems determined to crush the Kachin resistance and gain control over the area now administered by the rebels. The military campaign also sends signals to about a dozen other ethnic armies which have entered into ceasefire agreements with the government. In a statement issued on January 1, the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an umbrella organisation of 12 such ethnic groups based mainly on the Thai border in the south, said they felt threatened by the offensive as well - and called for unity among Myanmar's multitude of traditionally factious ethnic militias. "If we are not able to act collectively now we will be destroyed individually," said a participant at the meeting that adopted the statement..."
Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
Language: English
Source/publisher: AL Jazeera
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 15 January 2013


Title: More war than peace in Myanmar
Date of publication: 18 December 2012
Description/subject: "LAIZA - Helicopter gunships hover in the sky above a battlefield. The constant sound of explosions and gunfire pierce the night for an estimated 100,000 refugees and internally displaced people. Military hospitals are full of wounded government soldiers, while bridges, communication lines and other crucial infrastructure lie in war-torn ruins. The images and sounds on the ground in Myanmar's northern Kachin State shatter the impression of peace, reconciliation and a steady march towards democracy that President Thein Sein's government has bid to convey to the outside world. In reality, the situation in this remote corner of one of Asia's historically most troubled nations is depressingly normal..."
Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 December 2012


Title: Blood and Gold: Inside Burma's Hidden War (video)
Date of publication: 04 October 2012
Description/subject: Deep in the wilds of northern Myanmar's Kachin state a brutal civil war has intensified over the past year between government forces and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). People & Power sent filmmakers Jason Motlagh and Steve Sapienza to Myanmar (formerly Burma) to investigate why the conflict rages on, despite the political reforms in the south that have impressed Western governments and investors now lining up to stake their claim in the resource-rich Asian nation.
Author/creator: Jason Motlagh and Steve Sapienza
Language: English, Burmese, Kachin, (English subtitles
Source/publisher: People & Power (Al Jazeera)
Format/size: Adobe Flash (25 minutes), html
Date of entry/update: 08 October 2012


Title: THE WAR IN KACHIN STATE: A YEAR OF MORE DISPLACEMENT AND HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
Date of publication: 08 June 2012
Description/subject: • In the past year, the Tatmadaw has deployed nearly 25% of its battalions to Kachin State, escalating its war with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and bringing further suffering to civilian populations in Kachin State and Northern Shan State. • Tatmadaw soldiers have constantly targeted civilians in Kachin State and Northern Shan States as part of their military operations against the KIA. Human rights abuses have included extrajudicial killings, rape of women, arbitrary arrests, torture, forced displacement, the use of human shields, forced labor, and the confiscation and destruction of property. All of these systematic abuses would be considered war crimes and/or crimes against humanity under international law. • The ongoing conflict has displaced about 75,000 people, including at least 10,000 refugees who crossed the border into China. Despite the severity of the situation, the regime has frustrated relief efforts, severely restricting humanitarian access to local and international organizations. • The KIA’s political leadership, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), has made repeated attempts to negotiate a lasting peace in Kachin State. However, the regime has rejected the KIO’s request to discuss long-term political solutions prior to a ceasefire agreement. BACKGROUND: 2008 constitution, 2010 elections, BGF, energy projects, and human rights abuses
Language: English
Source/publisher: ALTSEAN-Burma
Format/size: pdf (139K)
Date of entry/update: 09 June 2012


Title: Fighting and Ongoing Displacement in Kachin State, Burma: Update
Date of publication: 01 June 2012
Description/subject: KEY DEVELOPMENTS: "While ceasefire negotiations are taking place in some ethnic areas, attacks continue in Kachin State, Northern Burma. The Burma Army is pressing its attacks in Kachin State with over 100 battalions deployed. There are over 50,000 Kachin people displaced, over 60 Kachin civilians killed and 100 Kachin soldiers killed. Burma Army casualties are unknown, but estimated at 1,000 wounded and killed. Along with the KIO, WPN, Partners and other organizations, the Kachin FBR teams are helping those in need"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Free Burma Rangers (FBR)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2012


Title: Nowhere to run: rebels trapped in Burma's escalating ethnic war Pinned against the Chinese border, the isolated Kachin people fear a bloody end to a long conflict
Date of publication: 15 May 2012
Description/subject: "Ethnic Kachin fighters are locked in battle against Burmese forces after a government offensive on the border town of Laiza – where the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) is based – sparked fears that authorities are planning a final push to oust the rebels. Fighting has been escalating since mid-April, when several rounds of peace talks – forming part of the government's much-heralded moves toward reform – reached no tangible outcome. The leadership of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) – Christians who have fought, on and off, for self-determination since 1961 – are now sandwiched between Burmese artillery and the Chinese border, which runs directly through the centre of Laiza..."
Author/creator: Padraig Byrne
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Independent"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 16 May 2012


Title: Burma Army Mortars Villages and Burns Homes in Kachin State; 50,000 people displaced
Date of publication: 22 April 2012
Description/subject: KEY DEVELOPMENTS: "Burma Army fighting continues in Kachin State since the original outbreak of violence on 9 June 2011, when Burma Army soldiers broke the ceasefire previously held with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). As Burma Army attacks continue, the KIA attempts to defend the population and numerous clashes have occurred between Burma Army and KIA soldiers. Burma Army soldiers have also repeatedly attacked civilian villages, often occupying and looting the village afterwards and forcing villagers to flee. Free Burma Ranger teams have collected multiple reports of extrajudicial killing, imprisonment and torture. There are over 50,000 Internally Displaced People in camps on the border, with thousands more hiding in the jungle."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Free Burma Rangers (FBR)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2012


Title: Untold Miseries - Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement in Burma’s Kachin State
Date of publication: 19 March 2012
Description/subject: 'When Burmese President Thein Sein took office in March 2011, he said that over 60 years of armed conflict have put Burma’s ethnic populations through “the hell of untold miseries.” Just three months later, the Burmese armed forces resumed military operations against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), leading to serious abuses and a humanitarian crisis affecting tens of thousands of ethnic Kachin civilians. “Untold Miseries”: Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement in Kachin State is based on over 100 interviews in Burma’s Kachin State and China’s Yunnan province. It details how the Burmese army has killed and tortured civilians, raped women, planted antipersonnel landmines, and used forced labor on the front lines, including children as young as 14-years-old. Soldiers have attacked villages, razed homes, and pillaged properties. Burmese authorities have failed to authorize a serious relief effort in KIA-controlled areas, where most of the 75,000 displaced men, women, and children have sought refuge. The KIA has also been responsible for serious abuses, including using child soldiers and antipersonnel landmines. Human Rights Watch calls on the Burmese government to support an independent international mechanism to investigate violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by all parties to Burma’s ethnic armed conflicts. The government should also provide United Nations and humanitarian agencies unhindered access to all internally displaced populations, and make a long-term commitment with humanitarian agencies to authorize relief to populations in need.'
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: pdf (1.7MB - OBL version; 2.25MB - original))
Alternate URLs: http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/burma0312ForUpload_1.pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 March 2012


Title: THE CONFLICT IN KACHIN STATE - TIME TO REVISE THE COSTS OF WAR? (English)
Date of publication: February 2012
Description/subject: "...Since 9 June 2011, Kachin State has seen open warfare between the Kachin Independence Army and the Tatmadaw (Burma Army). The Kachin Independence Organisation signed a ceasefire agreement with the regime in 1994 and since then had lived in relative peace up until 2008 and the creation of a new constitution. This constitution enshrines the power of the military and demands that all armed forces, including those under ceasefire agreements, relinquish control to the head of the Burma Army. This, combined with economic exploitation by China in Kachin territory, especially the construction of the Myitsone Hydropower Dam, left the Kachin Independence Organisation with very little alternative but to return to armed resistance to prevent further abuses of its people and their territory’s natural resources. Despite this however, the political situation since the beginning of hostilities has changed significantly. There is little doubt that one of the main reasons for the continuing offensive was the Burmese Government’s attempts to control all ethnic armed forces through its head of defence services. That said, however, the principle reason for both the KIO’s reaction to increased Burma Army deployment, the breakdown of the ceasefire, and the resumption of open warfare in Kachin areas, was also the previous Regime’s attempts to secure China’s lucrative investment projects at the expense of ethnic rights and land..."
Author/creator: Paul Keenan (author); Lian K. Sakhong (editor)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 2)
Format/size: pdf (947K)
Date of entry/update: 07 February 2012


Title: Burma Army continues attacks, burns houses and kills one man and two women; over 40,000 Kachin people now displaced by attacks and more preparing to run
Date of publication: 22 January 2012
Description/subject: KEY DEVELOPMENTS: * The Burma Army is currently attacking within six miles of Mai Ja Yang, a city in Kachin State that is a refuge for over 1,000 displaced people * The Burma Army is firing an average of 100 mortar rounds per day into this area and is receiving reinforcements. * Over 40,000 Kachin people now displaced by attacks and more are preparing to run
Language: English
Source/publisher: Free Burma Rangers (FBR)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2012


Title: THE NORTH WAR, PART II: KACHIN CONFLICT CONTINUES
Date of publication: 20 December 2011
Description/subject: "Project Maje's previous report, 'The North War: A Kachin Conflict Compilation Report' (August 15, 2011) contained background information on the Kachin conflict and a compilation of articles about it from June-July 2011. This new report includes first hand observations from a November 2011 visit to the conflict area, two interviews and a compilation of news articles from August through early December 2011. Both reports are intended for journalists, aid workers and other researchers who may be interested in the in the conflict situation in northern Burma. "Project Maje hopes that the ongoing situation in northern Burma, including resource extraction and human rights issues in addition to the KIO conflict, will be covered in increasing depth and scope by journalists and other investigators in the future. For a detailed view of the human rights and IDP situations in the conflict area, Project Maje particularly recommends two recent NGO reports:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Project Maje
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 December 2011


Title: CRIMES IN NORTHERN BURMA: Results from a fact -finding mission to Kachin State
Date of publication: 27 November 2011
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "On 9 June 2011, civil war broke out in northern Burma between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), ending a 17-year long ceasefire agreement. This report presents data collected from a Partners investigation in southern Kachin State, Burma in October 2011. The testimony of witnesses and on-site photographs reveal multiple acts perpetrated by Burma Army battalions 74 and 276 against ethnic Kachin civilians that potentially amount to war crimes and other extreme crimes. These acts include torture, extrajudicial killing, the specific targeting of civilians, human shielding, unlawful arrest, unlawful detention, forced labor, forced relocation, displacement, property theft and property destruction. Witnesses reported that Burma Army soldiers entered Nam Lim Pa village on 8 October 2011. Men were arrested and detained for forced labor. Women and children were detained in the Roman Catholic church compound against their will and without provocation or expressed reason. Violent injuries demonstrate signs of extreme physical abuse and strongly suggest the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering while in custody. Civilian casualties included torture and execution. Eyewitness reports indicate no Kachin Independence Army presence during the time of the attacks. Villagers were forcibly relocated and displaced by armed soldiers. Houses, offices and churches were robbed and vandalized, all without justification. At least one home was robbed and burned to the ground while its owner was arrested and detained. The results from this fact-finding mission to Kachin State reveal evidence of crimes that potentially amount to war crimes, perpetrated by the Burma Army against ethnic Kachin civilians and their properties in October 2011. Based on the incidents documented in this report, the Burma Army is in contravention of its legal obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. Considering the nature and scale of these acts in combination with documented abuses in the broader civil war in Kachin State, the actions of the Burma government and the Burma Army may also amount to other serious violations, including crimes against humanity. Those responsible must be brought to justice and held accountable for their actions. Partners makes the following key recommendations:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Partners Relief & Development
Format/size: pdf (2MB - OBL version; 4.52MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://partnersworld.org/usa/images/stories/crimes_in_northern_burma/crimes_in_northern_burma.pdf
Date of entry/update: 28 November 2011


Title: Kachin State- Burma Army Burns and Loots Homes in Wai Maw District
Date of publication: 15 November 2011
Description/subject: Fighting between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Burma Army broke out on 9 June 2011, ending a 17-year cease-fire agreement between the two groups. As many as 20,000 people have been displaced by the fighting in Kachin State, according to local networks helping IDPs in Laiza. KIA sources have said that the number of standing Burma Army battalions before the conflict began was 93. Currently there are 113 battalions in Kachin State with more troops on the way, according to KIA sources. Divisions 33, 88, and 99 are currently operating in Kachin State.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Free Burma Rangers (FBR)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2012


Title: Troops raze Kachin villages, locals flee
Date of publication: 11 November 2011
Description/subject: "Burmese troops burned down around 50 homes in a village in eastern Kachin state two days ago as they prepare for an offensive against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), despite assertions from fleeing residents that no rebels inhabit the village. In response, the KIA has told locals living in areas close to the town of Waingmaw to leave, prompting some 3,000 people to join those who fled the razed Aungja village as they make for the border with China. A DVB reporter in Kachin state said that Burmese army battalions were closing in on the KIA’s Brigade 3 in Sanpai, which was being fiercely defended by the rebels..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2012


Title: Burma's Covered up War: Atrocities Against the Kachin People
Date of publication: 07 October 2011
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "At the same time as Thein Sein’s government is engaging in public relations maneuvers designed to make it appear that reform is taking place, its army is perpetrating atrocities against the Kachin people on a widespread and systematic basis. Seven months after the November 2010 elections and four months after the convening of parliament which, in the words of the ruling generals, “completed the country’s transition to a multiparty democracy,” the regime launched a new war in Kachin State and Northern Shan State. After a seventeen year ceasefire, the renewed conflict has brought rampant human rights abuses by the Burma Army including, rape, torture, the use of human minesweepers and the forced displacement of entire villages. Human rights abuses in Burma are prevalent because of the culture of impunity put in place at the highest levels of government. The Burmese regime continuously fails to investigate human rights abuses committed by its military and instead categorically denies the possibility that abuses are taking place. Attempts to seek justice for the crimes committed against the Kachin people have resulted in responses ranging from “we do not take responsibility for any landmine injuries” to “the higher authorities will not listen to your complaint”. These human rights violations have led villagers to flee approaching troops, creating tens of thousands of internally displaced persons. The Burmese regime has refused to allow aid groups working inside the country to provide relief to the majority of these displaced people and international groups have failed to provide sufficient cross-border aid, creating a growing humanitarian crisis. While the international community “waits and sees” whether the Burmese regime will implement genuine democratic reforms, the Kachin people are suffering. The time for waiting and seeing is over: now is the time for the world to act. We call on the international community to: Demand that the Burmese regime put an end to the atrocities against the Kachin people.• Provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons and refugees fleeing • the conflict to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Support the establishment by the United Nations of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate crimes • against humanity and war crimes in Burma
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT)
Format/size: pdf (862K)
Date of entry/update: 24 November 2011


Title: Situation Update: Conflict and Displacement in Burma’s Border Areas 31st August 2011
Date of publication: 31 August 2011
Description/subject: "Armed conflict in Burma’s Karen, Shan and Kachin States continues to fuel large‐scale displacement of civilians both internally and into neighbouring countries. Between 5,000 and 7,000 civilians remain in temporary, unofficial sites along the Thai‐Burma border in Thailand's Tak Province; approximately 20,000 remain internally‐displaced in Kachin State along the border with China; and thousands have been forced to flee their homes in Shan State due to ongoing armed conflict. Community‐based groups continue in their efforts to provide assistance to these populations, who have no access to international protection mechanisms, and little or no assistance from international humanitarian organisations. The shortage of funding to such community‐based aid networks is a serious cause for concern, particularly with a high likelihood of further fighting resulting in more displacement. There is an urgent need for protection mechanisms and humanitarian assistance for civilians fleeing conflict and human rights abuses in Burma..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Back Pack Health Worker Team
Format/size: pdf (360K)
Date of entry/update: 05 September 2011


Title: New-generation war in Myanmar
Date of publication: 03 August 2011
Description/subject: PHOTO ESSAY..."...The mid-July clashes down from Hkaya Bum camp were the most intense of the nascent conflict. Since then there have been sporadic skirmishes, but apparently without a concerted strategy from the Myanmar military. The two sides have reportedly resumed contacts in recent days, without clear results. Meanwhile, those in Kachin State hold their breath, hoping for real peace and autonomy, not just another ceasefire..."
Author/creator: Tony Cliff
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 December 2011


Title: THE NORTH WAR: A KACHIN CONFLICT COMPILATION REPORT
Date of publication: August 2011
Description/subject: "This is a resource compilation report which is intended for journalists, aid workers and other researchers who may be interested in the in the June/July 2011 conflict between the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and Burma's military regime in Kachin State, Burma. News stories and documents related to the conflict are categorized and reproduced or linked here, with a list of background information sources. They are in chronological order within each category. Project Maje hopes that the ongoing situation in northern Burma, including resource extraction and human rights issues in addition to the KIO conflict, will be covered in increasing depth and scope by journalists and other investigators in the future..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Project Maje
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 17 August 2011


Title: ETHNIC AREAS UPDATE: BURMA HEADS TOWARD CIVIL WAR
Date of publication: 29 June 2011
Description/subject: • Despite the 7 November election’s illusory promise of an inclusive democratic system, the situation in ethnic nationality areas continues to deteriorate... • In addition to the ongoing offensives against ethnic non-ceasefire groups, the Tatmadaw increasingly targeted ceasefire groups who rejected the regime’s Border Guard Force (BGF) scheme... • In Shan and Kachin States, the Tatmadaw broke ceasefire agreements signed in 1989 and 1994 respectively... • Ongoing fighting between the Tatmadaw and ethnic ceasefire and non-ceasefire groups displaced about 13,000 civilians in Kachin State, at least 700 in Northern Shan State, and forced over 1,800 to flee from Karen State into Thailand... • Civilians bore the brunt of the Tatmadaw’s military operations, which resulted in the death of 15 civilians in Northern Shan State and five in Karen State... Tatmadaw troops gang-raped at least 18 women and girls in Southern Kachin State... • Desertion continues to hit Tatmadaw battalions, including BGF units, engaged in military operations in ethnic areas... • Reports on the alleged use of chemical weapons by Tatmadaw troops surfaced during offensives against Shan State Army-North forces... • In February, in response to the Tatmadaw’s ongoing attacks in ethnic areas, 12 ethnic armed opposition groups, ceasefire groups, and political organizations agreed to form a new coalition - the Union Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)... • The situation for residents living in conflict zones of ethnic States remains grim as the regime re-launched its ‘four cuts’ policy which targets civilians... • The situation is likely to continue due to Burma’s constitution and the recently enacted laws, including the national conscription law.
Language: English
Source/publisher: ALTSEAN-Burma
Format/size: pdf (116K)
Date of entry/update: 30 June 2011


Title: Myanmar tilts towards civil war
Date of publication: 29 June 2011
Description/subject: "Myanmar moved closer to civil war in recent weeks after fighting broke out in Kachin State, a former ceasefire area in the remote northern region. Myanmar's newly elected government now faces ethnic insurgencies on three separate fronts, threatening internal and border security. There is also the potential for more insurgent groups to take up arms and push their claims against the government. The escalating conflict is not going all the military's way and risks further stunting Myanmar's development and international confidence in its supposed democratic transition..."
Author/creator: Brian McCartan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 July 2011


Title: Disquiet on the Northern Front
Date of publication: April 2010
Description/subject: The uneasy peace in Kachin State is under constant pressure, as the Burmese junta's border guard force scheme meets continued resistance
Author/creator: Wai Moe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 April 2010