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Faith in Action

War in Burma

Drew Posh, Staff Writer

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Protests erupt as Northern Burma is attacked by the Burmese military. Clashes between the the Burmese military and radical ethnic groups have increasingly been more violent. Many of the protests are in response to a 2-year old who was killed October 1, 2016. She was killed by shrapnel from a mortar fire in her area. Now protestors are popping up in huge numbers wanting to stop the Burmese military from abusing human rights and also to receive aid.

It all happened on an early Saturday morning, some children were playing outside in Pu Wang Village in Mung Koe Township. Then they were hit with at least six mortar grenades instantly causing panic. Zung Myaw was hit in the neck and head with shrapnel along with her playmates, who were hit in the stomach and thighs. They were rushed to the hospital but Zung Myaw, 2 years old, died on the way there. Zung Myaw was then buried in her village and everyone became even more angry.

Years and years of fighting have caused the people of Burma to protest in continuously more numbers. Ending the war is the protester’s goal and to stop the killing of everyone, especially innocent children and families. Women have been raped, children killed, and homes being destroyed. The citizens want and end to this violent fighting. They are innocent and should not be in the line of fire.

The U.S. Embassy got involved on September 30th, a couple days before the death of Zung Myaw. They spoke about the war and how they were deeply concerned and told authorities to protect their citizens. According to Col. Lahpai Zau Raw, the fighting by the Burmese military shows that they are not for peace even though they attended an internal nation peace conference.

As fighting between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Burmese military, over 300 villages were destroyed and over 100,000 people have been displaced from their homes. The Burmese military have been planning more and more attacks in order to presence the KIA’s headquarters in Laiza. The Burmese military is trying everything in their power to blockade the rebels to put them down. They have increased their presence in the north with heavy artillery and helicopters so a big offensive might be on the way. Also, they have been fighting in the west, in the town called Hpakant. This town is where the rebels have their jade supply and without it, their source of income is basically gone.

President Obama found a solution to their income problem. On October 7, 2016, Barack Obama signed a document stating that the U.S. will end all the sanctions it had been formerly under regarding Burma and the Unites States. Now with these sanctions gone, U.S.’s dollars can go into the country and Burma products can come out in exchange. This will help Burma financial, big time. Also, another big effect of releasing the sanction is that Burma’s former dictator was removed from the U.S. Treasury’s blacklist. Him and 16 other officers were removed.

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War in Burma