Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Junta bent on wiping out ethnic Kachins says KNO

(Kachin) -The Burmese military junta is vigourously pursuing its policy of ethnic cleansing of Kachins in Burma. Oppression is at its peak by the regime to wipe out the Kachin people. One of the weapons used for ethnic cleansing is rape and it is being used as a weapon of war against ethnic minorities in Burma, said the Kachin National Organization (KNO) in exile.

“After the cease-fire agreement between the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and the junta so-called State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), we could see that the SPDC continued to oppress the Kachins by various methods and its target is to wipe out the Kachins,” said Mahkaw Hkun Sa, general secretary of Kachin National Council (KNC) and KNO.

The KNO released a statement yesterday regarding the gang rape and murder of a Kachin schoolgirl Nhkum Hkawn Din by Burmese soldiers on July 27.

“Despite the ceasefire agreement between the KIO and the SPDC, Burmese soldiers have repeatedly violated its terms of agreement and repeatedly carried out brutal and violent crimes against the Kachin people,” the statement said.

According to Burma Campaign UK, rape is systematically used as a weapon of war against ethnic minorities in Burma. More than a thousand cases have been documented.

“In this case of gang rape, the military regime once again showed how brutal it is and we [the Burma Campaign UK] are trying to make the international community aware of the case,” said Nang Seng, Campaign Officer of Burma Campaign UK.

With the United Nations special envoy to Burma, Ibrahim Gambari arriving yesterday in Burma, the Burma Campaign UK sent word of the gang rape and murder of a Kachin School girl before Gambari leaves so that he can raise the issue concerning human rights violations in the country, Nang Seng said.

“We hope Gambari will talk with the government about the gang rape and killing of the Kachin schoolgirl as one of the many gruesome crimes against humanity in keeping with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 1820,” Nang Seng said.

The UN Security Council Resolution 1820 describes rape and sexual violence as a crime against humanity.

Meanwhile, as the village of Nam Sai where the rape and murder occurred is also a development project village controlled by the 1st battalion of Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the KIA has sent a letter about the brutal case to its headquarters.

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