Whereabouts of two Kachin militia leaders unknown after Naypyitaw summons

The whereabouts of two leaders of the strongest Kachin ethnic militia groups in Burma’s Shan State, who were summoned to Naypyitaw nearly a month ago, is worrying relatives and supporters, said militia sources.

They are the Kutkai militia group leader Salang Hkun Myant and Hpawng Seng militia group leader Salang Lau Yawng, who are loyal to Burma’s ruling coterie. They have not come back home, said sources close to relatives and supporters of the two leaders.
Hkun Myant is based in Kutkai with about 1,000 regular troops whereas Lau Yawng is in Hpawng Seng with over 400 regular troops, according to local people.

The two militia leaders are close relatives and Hkun Myat and Lau Yawng’s fathers are brothers.

They went to Burma’s capital Naypyitaw following summons by the Burmese regime in mid-July. There has been no communication by the two leaders since they left, said the sources.

The sources said the two leaders seem to be under house arrest in the capital because they could not exactly follow the instructions of the junta.

Since last year, the two groups have been directed to pressurize Loikang-based No. 4 Brigade Command of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) to transform to the Burmese Army-controlled militia group or withdraw to Kachin State under the junta’s Northern Command, added sources.

The main ethnic Kachin armed group, KIA and its political-wing the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) based in Kachin State and Northeast Shan State since the 1960s rejected the junta-proposed BGF.

Before the KIO signed a ceasefire agreement with the junta in 1994, the two militia groups fought against the KIO/KIA in Northern Shan State along with the Burmese Army.

A resident of Mongkoe told Kachin News Group today, that the two militia groups were also instructed to mobilize people in Mongkoe and Hpawng Seng to vote for the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in the forthcoming elections by Maj-Gen Aung Than Htut, commander of Lashio-based Northeastern Command.

However, people in the two towns are now increasingly opposing the junta and it’s sponsored USPD, according to residents.

Sources close to supporters of the two militia leaders in Kutkai said, problems have surfaced between the junta and the two militia groups. But it is too early to say this with any certainty.