Tension Rises Further as BGF Deadline Passes

Tension Rises Further as BGF Deadline Passes
By SAW YAN NAING Monday, March 15, 2010
Tension continued to rise around the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) Laiza headquarters on Monday as the latest deadline passed for the KIO and other ethnic armed groups to agree to join the regime’s planned Border Guard Force (BGF).
Kachin sources said the KIO moved all its important documents and office materials from Laiza to prevent them falling into regime hands if government forces launch an attack, according to Kachin sources.
The high priority materials—including files and computers—were moved to the KIO’s former headquarters at Laizin.
The KIO took the precaution in the face of a buildup of government troops in the region as Monday’s deadline came and passed.
According to government sources, more than 70,000 regime troops have been sent to ethnic rebel areas of northeastern Burma, near bases of the KIO and the United Wa State Army (UWSA).
The troop buildup took place at the same time as talks continued between the KIO and the government on the BGF proposal.
“Even though they [the KIO] keep talking with the regime, they don’t trust the government,” said Ma Grang, a Kachin source with close links to the KIO.
The KIO had deployed well-trained militias around its Laiza headquarters, Ma Grang said. Land mines had been planted around KIO bases, according to sources.

Eight KIO leaders discussed the BGF proposal in Myitkyina last week with government representatives led by Maj-Gen Soe Win, commander of the Northern Regional Command. Sources said the government side was pressing the KIO to agree to the proposal.
Sources close to the UWSA said the regime was reluctant to negotiate with the group about the BGF plan, although a further meeting was planned for later this month.
A Wa official at the UWSA headquarters in Panghsang told The Irrawaddy on Monday: “What we want are peace, justice, and autonomy. We need to negotiate peacefully.”
UWSA leaders, including chairman Bao Youxiang, met a junta delegation led by Lt-Gen Ye Myint in Tangyan, about 80 miles south of the northern Shan State capital Lashio on Feb. 25. The meeting ended inconclusively, said UWSA sources.

Despite Monday’s deadline, Maj-Gen Thet Naing Win, commander of the junta’s Southeast Regional Command, invited the ethnic Mon cease-fire group, the New Mon State Party (NMSP), to hold further talks on the BGF proposal.
Tension continued to rise around the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) Laiza headquarters on Monday as the latest deadline passed for the KIO and other ethnic armed groups to agree to join the regime’s planned Border Guard Force (BGF).
Kachin sources said the KIO moved all its important documents and office materials from Laiza to prevent them falling into regime hands if government forces launch an attack, according to Kachin sources.
The high priority materials—including files and computers—were moved to the KIO’s former headquarters at Laizin.
The KIO took the precaution in the face of a buildup of government troops in the region as Monday’s deadline came and passed.
According to government sources, more than 70,000 regime troops have been sent to ethnic rebel areas of northeastern Burma, near bases of the KIO and the United Wa State Army (UWSA).
The troop buildup took place at the same time as talks continued between the KIO and the government on the BGF proposal.
“Even though they [the KIO] keep talking with the regime, they don’t trust the government,” said Ma Grang, a Kachin source with close links to the KIO.
The KIO had deployed well-trained militias around its Laiza headquarters, Ma Grang said. Land mines had been planted around KIO bases, according to sources.

Eight KIO leaders discussed the BGF proposal in Myitkyina last week with government representatives led by Maj-Gen Soe Win, commander of the Northern Regional Command. Sources said the government side was pressing the KIO to agree to the proposal.
Sources close to the UWSA said the regime was reluctant to negotiate with the group about the BGF plan, although a further meeting was planned for later this month.
A Wa official at the UWSA headquarters in Panghsang told The Irrawaddy on Monday: “What we want are peace, justice, and autonomy. We need to negotiate peacefully.”
UWSA leaders, including chairman Bao Youxiang, met a junta delegation led by Lt-Gen Ye Myint in Tangyan, about 80 miles south of the northern Shan State capital Lashio on Feb. 25. The meeting ended inconclusively, said UWSA sources.

Despite Monday’s deadline, Maj-Gen Thet Naing Win, commander of the junta’s Southeast Regional Command, invited the ethnic Mon cease-fire group, the New Mon State Party (NMSP), to hold further talks on the BGF proposal.

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