More cap­tured vil­lagers re­leased by KIA

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - CHAN THAR chan­thar@mm­times.com

An­other seven vil­lagers who were cap­tured by the Kachin In­de­pen­dence Army (KIA) were re­leased, but the fate of many oth­ers is still un­known, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials.

THE Kachin In­de­pen­dence Army (KIA) re­leased on Oc­to­ber 10 an­other seven vil­lagers who were held hostage, Po­lice Lieu­tenant Colonel Myo Thura Naung of Kachin State Po­lice Force told The Myan­mar Times.

“Some vil­lagers have been freed. But as we don’t con­duct searches or in­ves­ti­ga­tion, we can’t ex­actly say why they were cap­tured.

“As the area is not within our ju­ris­dic­tion, we do not know the sit­u­a­tion of the re­main­ing vil­lagers,” Po­lice Lieu­tenant Colonel Myo Thura Naung said on Tues­day.

On Oc­to­ber 5, more than 60 peo­ple: over 20 vil­lagers and 40 ba­nana farm­ers, from Sainglaw, Hong­taung and Kaungkha vil­lages, lo­cated in Sadone Sub-town­ship of Waing­maw town­ship, were ab­ducted by the KIA, said Myo Thura Naung.

The hostages are be­tween the age of 20 and 30, and on Oc­to­ber 7, KIA re­leased eight of them, he added.

Among the ab­ducted vil­lagers, a total of eight civil­ians, Chi­nese and Shan na­tion­als, were re­leased on Oc­to­ber 7, said Po­lice Lieu­tenant Myo Si Thu from Sadone Po­lice Sta­tion of Waing­maw.

In or­der to free the eight hostages, a ne­go­ti­a­tion was con­ducted with KIA of­fi­cials, said PCG [Peace-talk Creation Group based in My­itky­ina] spokesper­son U La­mai Gunja.

“As we heard that Shan na­tion­als were in­cluded among the hostages, we ne­go­ti­ated for their re­lease to avoid un­nec­es­sary is­sues like eth­nic prob­lems. I don’t know about the re­main­ing peo­ple,” U La­mai Gunja said.

Re­gard­ing the miss­ing civil­ians and farm­ers, the case has been re­ported to the Min­istry of Home Af­fairs as an ex­tra­or­di­nary in­ci­dent, said Po­lice Cap­tain Myo Thura Naung.

The po­lice force could not man­age for the re­lease of the re­main­ing ab­ductees and only the state govern­ment will be able to ne­go­ti­ate here on, he added.

When Kachin State Chief Min­is­ter Dr Khet Aung was asked about the mat­ter, he replied that the ques­tion should be raised with the Kachin Po­lice Force.

U La­gang Ze Jung, Pyithu Hlut­taw MP for Waing­maw con­stituency, said it won’t be easy to ne­go­ti­ate for the re­lease of the re­main­ing 40 vil­lagers.

“I don’t have any plan yet. For us, it is a dif­fi­cult op­er­a­tion,” he said.

“As we un­der­stand that the KIA is do­ing some re­cruit­ment, we can­not say any­thing about the rest of the vil­lagers. There are ru­mors spreading that they would re­cruit more peo­ple,” said a monk, whose monastery is near Washawng vil­lage.

Due to fear of be­ing ar­rested by the KIA, some vil­lagers have fled their res­i­dences, the monk asked lo­cal res­i­dents to in­form him if any­one is ever ar­rested.

The KIA is cur­rently ac­tive in Waing­maw town­ship. It has not signed the Na­tion­wide Cease­fire Agree­ment yet and mil­i­tary en­gage­ments with the Tat­madaw have been oc­cur­ring since 2011.

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