KIO repeats ‘No’ to border force offer

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Kachin Independence Organisation passed a junta deadline today and reaffirmed its rejection of the regime’s offer to bring its troops under the command of the Burmese Army’s Border Guard Force.

Four junta representatives including Northern Command chief Major General Soe Win and Colonel Thet Pone from Military Affairs Security met an eight-member Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) team that included KIO Chairman Layauk Zauhara, General Secretary Dr. La Ja and Vice-Chief of Staff Colonel Guan Mau at Northern Command Headquarters this morning for about 1½ hours. In this meeting, the KIO refused to accept the junta’s offer to transform their army into BGF.

“We told them we could not accept their offer at all. Both the Kachin people and our grass-roots level KIO members could not accept the BGF”, one of the delegates at the meeting told Mizzima.

The KIO reiterated that it would adhere to its stance of joining the Federal Army as Kachin battalions.  

Soe Win responded that he would convey KIO’s reply to Naypyidaw, the delegate said.

KIO Joint General Secretary Colonel Sin Wah said the group wanted to reach a resolution to the stand-off without violence. “Whether the government is attacking us or not is up to them. We cannot comment on it. We just want to resolve the crisis peacefully”, he told Mizzima.

The KIO, with its 20,000-strong force including a regular army of 8,000 troops, warned Naypyidaw not to use military force against it.

The junta has given all of the ethnic ceasefire groups three ultimatums starting from 28th April last year to bring their armies under the control of the BGF.

Meanwhile, the United Wa State Army (UWSA) has joined the KIO in rejecting the junta’s ultimatum. “Today is the last date to reply to them. But what we want is different from what they want. They rejected eight points of our nine-point proposal. We have no more to say to them [the junta generals] as they have rejected our territorial rights”, a UWSA officer told Mizzima.

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