Thursday, July 16, 2009

KIO wants armed wing to become KRGF

by Phanida
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:20

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – On the contentious issue of transforming its armed wing, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) wants to change it to a ‘Kachin Regional Guard Force’ (KRGF) instead of the Border Guard Force’ (BGF) as desired by the junta and maintain its current strength.

Officers Rank

Captain 5
Second Lieutenant and Lieutenant 10
Total 18
War stablishment of ‘Border Guard Force’
Officer rank 18
Other ranks 308
he KIO responded to the regime’s proposal of transforming its armed wing, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) into the BGF with this new proposal at a meeting with the Northern Command Commander Maj. Gen. Soe Win in its headquarters in Myitkyina between July 8 and 11.

“We’ve just sent our proposal and have to discuss it later. We haven’t yet received a response to the proposal. We told them to let us maintain our current strength. We don’t accept their proposal of transforming our armed force into a ‘Border Guard Force’ (BGF)”, a senior KIO official told Mizzima.

The meeting was attended by KIO delegation comprising KIO Vice-Chairman Gori Zau Sai, General Secretary Dr. La Ja, Col. Sunlut Guan Maw, Capt. Laphai La, Capt. Gau Lo La Awng and Saya Kwan Htup Htein Naw Naw.

The junta is exerting pressure on ceasefire groups, who fought against them for many years, to transform their armed forces into the BGF with a limited strength. However, many of the ethnic armed forces find the proposal unacceptable.
Other Ranks

Skilled Nurse 1
CSM (Sergeant lerk)
Company Sgt. (Quarter Master) CQ) 1
Sergeant Clerks 8
Sergeants 16
Corporal 44
Lance Corporal 33
Private 198
Total 398

The new BGF will have a total of 326 personnel, including soldiers and officers from the Burmese Army.

Of a total of 326 personnel, 18 will be of the rank of officers and 308 will be from other ranks. The commander of the new armed unit will be from the ceasefire groups but they must accept one officer of the rank of Major, two of the rank of Captain and 27 other ranks from the Burmese Army.

KIA is believed to have a current strength of around 20,000 troops. It wants to maintain its current strength until a newly elected democratic government is in place in Burma.

There are four Kachin ceasefire groups in Kachin State. The smaller groups have accepted the junta’s proposal of transforming their armed forces into either a Border Guard Force or People’s Militia.

The junta’s plan envisages the ‘New Democratic Army-Kachin’ (NDA-K) transforming into BGF, Lasan Awng Wa and Kachin Defence Army (KDA) must change their forces into People’s Militia.