KIO likely to sign ceasefire

The Kachin Post / October 25, 2019

Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), a major ethnic-armed organization in Burma, has shifted its move to reach a ceasefire deal with Burma Army, signalling over a hundred thousand Kachin Internally Displaced Person (IDP) may go back home.

Over last weekends, a closed door meeting was reportedly held at the KIO headquartered Laiza between KIO and its allies, especially Northern Alliance armed organizations; Arkan Army, Kokang Army and Ta-ang National Liberation Army, according to sources closed to KIO. All the armed groups are still active in fighting against Burma Army.

The Chairman of KIO General Nban La reportedly discussed signing a truce with Burma Army during the last week dinner meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand with a delegation of Burmese government Peace Commission. The discussion also include the repatriation of Kachin IDP.

Recently, Chairman of Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) Rev. Hkalam Samson reportedly mentioned that KIO is ready to sign a bi-lateral ceasefire agreement with Burma Army soon. Samson is also a leading member of Kachin Humanitarian Concern Committee (KHCC), which push both KIO and Burma Army to sign a truce in order to return the Kachin IDP home. KHCC held series of meeting with KIO and Burmese government for the sake of IDP.

KIO was formed in 1961, striving to secede from Burma to establish Independence Kachinland in northern part of the country. The organization’s armed wing Kachin Independence Army (KIA) later signed a ceasefire agreement with Burma Army in 1994. However, the ceasefire was annulled in June 2011, after Burma Army unilaterally breached the agreement.

Over a hundred thousand of Kachin IDP are the outcome of war in Kachin and Northern Shan State since 2011. Burma Army is responsible for destroying all the towns and villages belong to Kachin IDP. Most of them currently living in the refugee camps along the China-Burma border.