January 25, 2012

Burma Campaign UK has confirmed reports that a pregnant ethnic Kachin woman was shot and killed by Burmese Army soldiers on 11th January 2012.

In June last year the Burmese government broke a ceasefire with the Kachin Independence Organisation, an armed political party in Kachin State, north-east Burma.

“While the EU’s Baroness Ashton calls President Thein Sein ‘courageous’, his soldiers are shooting unarmed pregnant women”, said Zoya Phan, Campaigns Manager at Burma Campaign UK. “There has been good news from Burma recently, but there is still more bad news than good news. It is time the international community took a more balanced approach to what is really happening in Burma.”

The Burmese Army has been deliberately targeting civilians since resuming conflict. Villages are being attacked, women gang-raped by Burmese Army soldiers, and civilians shot on sight. The attacks by the Burmese Army have forced up to 50,000 people to flee their homes. The military-backed government continues to block international aid from reaching these people.

Mangshang Ying Wang was shot by Burmese Army soldiers on 11 January 2012 at 9am. She was shot on Hpakan Road, Kachin State. It is believed that soldiers from battalion 58 under the command of Lieutenant Ye Min Twi, Lieutenant Ko Ko Latt and Colonel Htun Naing are in charge of soldiers in that area.

Mangshang Ying Wang was four months pregnant. She was taken to hospital where she died later that day. Another woman, Gawlu Seng Hkawn was shot and injured in the attack.

“The soldiers who carried out this attack should be arrested and put on trial”, said Zoya Phan. “For decades these kind of attacks have taken place with no action taken against the soldiers and their commanders.  The scale of this indicates this is Army policy, not individual soldiers behaving badly.”

“The breaking of the ceasefire in Kachin state was predicted but the international community took no action to try to prevent this happening, and no action to ensure aid could reach those who would have to flee attacks”, said Zoya Phan.  “Attacks like this should remind the EU that they shouldn’t get carried away by the good news and relax sanctions too soon. Those EU members whose diplomats are privately arguing that even the arms embargo should be lifted in April, should come out publicly and explain why they think it’s a good idea to sell arms to a government that shoots unarmed women.”

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Mangshang Ying Wang 
 


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