More than one year on, Sumlut Roi Ja, an ethnic Kachin woman abducted by the Burmese Army, is still missing and President Thein Sein is still failing to take action to investigate and prosecute the soldiers who abducted her.
Sumlut Roi Ja is a 28-year-old mother who was arrested by Burmese Army soldiers on October 28th 2011 while working on a family’s farm near her village Hkai Bang, close to the China border. Her husband and father-in-law were also arrested and they were forced at gunpoint to carry corn to a military camp, Battalion 321, at Mubum, before escaping, but Sumlut Roi Ja was left behind. After her arrest, she was seen at the military camp by several witnesses.
Sumlut Roi Ja’s husband, Dau Lum, took the case to the Supreme Court in Nay Pyi Daw but the case was dismissed.
Targeting innocent civilians during conflict and forced disappearances are war crimes. The Burmese Army soldiers who are responsible for Sumlut Roi Ja’s disappearance must be held accountable. There are grave concerns that Sumlut Roi Ja has been raped and killed. There have been many documented cases of rape and killings by the Burmese Army since it broke a ceasefire in Kachin State in June 2011.
“There should be justice and accountability for soldiers and their commanders who committed such crimes.” said Wai Hnin, Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK. “While the international community is praising President Thein Sein for his skin deep reforms, his soldiers keep raping and killing innocent ethnic civilians. The international community must not keep ignoring human rights abuses just because they happen in ethnic states instead of Rangoon.”