June 9 marks the one year anniversary of the beginning of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA)-Burmese War.
The war has displaced an estimated 75,000 people, who have been given extremely limited access to international aid. Additionally, there have been frequent reports of human rights abuses included the use of child soldiers, the use of rape as a weapon in war, the use of forced labor, extrajudicial killing, and torture. I have not seen a reliable estimate of the number of casualties that resulted from the war.
The aggressor in this case is the Burmese Army, which has been consistently at war with some significant portion of Burma’s people for over sixty years. Attempts at establishing a ceasefire have been half-assed at best.
It is essential that we contextualize the appearance of unprecedented change in Burma with the sober reality of the regime’s continued armed aggression against its own people.