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4/29/2011 Burma (ChristianPost) – The Burmese army plans to go to war with a powerful ethnic militia in Kachin State which could be devastating for around a million Christians living in the war zone.

Independent Burmese media is reporting that both the country’s military and the Kachin Independence Army, which demands greater autonomy for the state, are preparing to fight a fierce battle.

On April 20, Kachin News Group reported that the Burmese army had decided to attack the KIA, labeling the militia as the “government’s main domestic enemy.” Two days later, a report in The Irrawaddy detailed the training and recruitment programs being held in full swing by the KIA.

“It is clear that the central government, in the wake of last fall’s elections, feels it has gained the stability and legitimacy to move against the ethnic militias,” said Joshua Kurlantzick from the American think-tank Council on Foreign Relations in an article.

The CRF fellow for the Southeast Asia said the Burmese army was perhaps trying to “intimidate the militias” so that they disarmed themselves and joined a border guard force “but it’s unlikely to work.” “The militia groups have little to gain from joining a border guard force, so the regime probably would have to make them submit. And that could be bloody.”

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