17-Year-Old Cease-Fire in Burma Broken; Thousands Flee
by Marshall Ramsey II, Worthy News Correspondent
KACHIN STATE, BURMA (Worthy News)– Last month, in June, the Burmese (Myanmar) military ended a 17-year ceasefire causing more than 20,000 civilians to flee their homes in Kachin state, Worthy News has learned.
According to Irrawaddy magazine, a respected publication in Burma, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) is on high alert upon hearing rumors that Burmese government forces are planning a massive assault against KIA headquarters in Laiza this week.
The KIA is made up of Kachin resistance fighters, established to defend Kachinese people against government Burma Army attacks. They seek autonomy and equal rights for ethnic nationalities within a federal, democratic Myanmar, yet do not consider themselves a separatist movement.
The crisis in Burma (Myanmar) has been called ‘Burma’s civil war without witnesses,’ due to reports that the Burmese Army has restricted access from all non-government organizations (NGOs), international relief agencies, and independent media from reaching the affected areas.
Fears of an imminent attack have caused thousands to flee, including attempting entry into China. China however, is denying refuge and terrified villagers are only able to find shelter in camps set up in certain areas by the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO). Those unable to travel to the border camps or are cut off from fleeing into China have fled to towns deeper inside Kachin State.
The advocacy group, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), fears that unless China decides to open her borders and/or the Myanmar regime grants unfettered access to refugee camps to local NGOs and international relief agencies, innocent civilians will die of starvation, malnutrition, and injuries sustained in the process. Numerous volunteer workers are trying to ease the suffering of the refugees, and are working to provide aid, sometimes in desperate conditions.