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Published on Tuesday, 29 January 2013 16:06
The country’s military is willing to cooperate with the Kachin Independence Organisation to ensure peace and national unity, the Ministry of Defence said yesterday, adding that the military had adhered to a ceasefire order from the President’s Office that took effect at 6am on January 19.
All military actions since then had been made in self-defence, the statement from the ministry said.
It accused internal and external organisations, foreign embassies and media of fabricating news about the conflict in the northern state of Kachin to cause the public to distrust the military and government.
It said these groups were turning a blind eye to atrocities committed by the Kachin Independence Army, including destruction of civilian targets, such as roads and bridges.
The KIA had taken advantage of the ceasefire to attack government army posts and ambush military columns with landmines, which had killed and maimed government troops, the ministry said.
The KIA’s continued attacks on civilian targets – including government buildings, communication links and power lines – had cut trade in Kachin State, which contributed to food scarcity, rising commodity prices and medical shortages for local residents, the ministry said.
Government troops halted clearance operations in the Lajayan area of the northern state at 6am on January 19, but they had to act in self-defence to KIA attacks on areas they controlled, the ministry said.
The military is willing to work to peace through ceasefires, but the KIA has to want peace and work in good faith with the government and military as well, the ministry said.
As the army is strictly following the President’s order to halt fighting except in self-defence, the KIA and KIO must also respect the ceasefire, the ministry said.