KWO supports Kachin Women’s Association Thailand

KWO condemns these actions by the Burmese military and the ongoing use of rape as a weapon of war.

Press release by the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand

31st October, 2013

Ongoing Burmese Army atrocities in Kachin State are undermining the peace process

New documentation by the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) exposes recent atrocities by Burmese government troops against Kachin civilians, despite ongoing peace negotiations.

KWAT’s new update documents abuses committed in Nhka Ga village, near Putao, northern Kachin State, in September 2013. After fighting in the area, Burmese troops raided the village, accusing them of supporting the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). They detained the villagers, torturing ten men and killing three, and a young mother was raped by an officer.

This military operation is directly linked to the securing of control over northern Kachin State’s rich timber and mineral resources. Nhka Ga village lies on a new road being built from the China border to large concession areas recently granted to billionaire crony Tay Za.

The atrocities took place only a month before the latest peace talks between the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and the Burmese government in Myitkyina on October 8-10.

Soon after the last peace talks, on October 22, about 1,000 Burmese troops attacked and occupied two villages in Mansi township, in southern Kachin State, displacing over 1,000 villagers. About 400 villagers were detained in a village church, leading to the death of a 76-year-old woman. The Burmese troops had moved in after KIA had withdrawn from the strategic Kaihtik-Bhamo road.

“Between each round of peace talks, the Burmese government is seizing new strategic sites and expanding its military into Kachin areas,” said Jessica Nhkum, KWAT joint secretary. “How can we believe that this process will lead to peace?”

Since the renewal of conflict between the Kachin Independence Army and the Burmese Army on June 9, 2011, there have been three official peace talks and at least ten unofficial peace talks between the two sides.

KWAT is urging the Burmese government to immediately cease military offensives against Kachin people and other ethnic nationalities and withdraw troops from the conflict areas.

The full update can be viewed on

Contact persons:

Ms. Seng Shadan  (+66 896396080 )

Ms. Seng Zin (+66 846142330)

Published by Karen Women Organisation

The Karen Women Organisation was formed in 1949 and has a membership of over 64,100 women. KWO is a community-based organisation of Karen women working in development and relief in the refugee camps on the Thai border and with IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) and women inside Burma. Since our formation in 1949 we have expanded our focus from one of purely social welfare to try to encourage an awareness of Women's Rights and to promote women’s participation in the community decision making and political processes. The objectives of the KWO  To assist women in the endeavour to be free from all forms of oppression.  To promote and empower women in all spheres of life, including education and general living standards.  To encourage women to participate in the struggle for freedom, democracy and equality.  To develop women's knowledge, ability and skills, including political and organizational skills.  To achieve the rights of women and equal status with men.  To promote and maintain Karen culture and traditions.  To improve the well-being of women and children and to increase their access to adequate health, education and welfare services. KWO aims to empower women through offering various capacity building trainings to teach skills, build confidence and create new opportunities so that women will be better able to solve problems. We are working hard to educate ourselves and our communities so that we can work more effectively and advocate for our struggle on the international stage. We believe that women’s contribution is an essential factor in the peace-building and national reconciliation processes of Burma.

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