November 29, 2016

Media Release by the Kachin Peace Network

Intense fighting broke out again in Northern Shan State on 20th November in Mungkoe, Pawng Sai and 105 Mile trading checkpoints and fighting continues between Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) and Ethnic Armed Groups [1] (Northern Alliance). Everyday, there are armed clashes in different parts of Northern Shan State and Southern Kachin State.

During the fighting that took place in Mungkoe area on 20th November, Myanmar Government Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) arrested about 70 civilians, who were taking part in a wedding ceremony at Hpau Jung Pa village; 12 relatives from China were also included among those arrested. These 12 relatives from China were released on the following day, 21st November, after the negotiations of the Chinese representative and another 2 person from Myanmar were released again on 25th November. The rest have been detained and none of them has been released yet up to now. Such an arbitrary detention of the civilians is a clear sign of breaching the Geneva Convention.

With this situation, we are deeply concerned for the safety and security of the civilians in the conflict area; and the undersigned organisations urge the Myanmar government and Government Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) for the immediate release of the civilians who have been detained since the 20th November and ensure the protection of life and dinify of the civilians an utmost priority.

We firmly demand to all the warring parties to refrain of committing any crime against humanity, fully respect International Humanitarian Law (IHL), and human rights laws (HRL). All parties to the conflict (the Myanmar government armed forces and the Ethnic Armed Forces) should respect the rights of civilians, and as per the Geneva Conventions, observe the principles of distinction between civilians and combatants and take precaution in the case of attacks to avoid civilian victims. As well as ensuring that civilians are not exposed to any “violence to life and person, cruel treatment and torture, outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.”

We urge for an immediate cessation of hostilities: A peaceful solution to the conflicts in Myanmar is a critical priority for the future of the country and its people. This should be based in open political dialogues that address the long standing issues which are at the origin of this conflict.

[1] includes Arakan Army (AA), Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA)

 

Kachin Peace Network

 


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