Myanmar Army Fires on Kachin, Rapes Women,
Rights Group Says

 

Daniel Ten Kate
Bloomberg
March 19, 2012

 

Myanmar’s army has displaced 75,000 ethnic Kachins since last June in an area along the Chinese border, Human Rights Watch said today, in a conflict that may threaten efforts to convince Western nations to lift sanctions.

Myanmar soldiers fired at civilians, raped women and forced children as young as 14 to work as porters on the front lines, New York-based Human Rights Watch said today in an 83-page report, “Untold Miseries’: Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement in Burma’s Kachin State.”  The offensive, which snapped a 17-year ceasefire, runs counter to President Thein Sein’s emphasis on ending ethnic conflicts since he took office a year ago, it said.

“There’s still a long way to go before the people of Burma, particularly those in conflict areas, benefit from recent promises of reform,” Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement, referring to Myanmar by its former name. “The international community should not become complacent about the serious human rights violations still plaguing Burma.”

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