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ICC Note: The Kachin ethnic group which resides primarily in Northern Burma and is more than 90% Christian continues to be struck by tragedy as the Burmese military raids villages and murders Kachin civilians. The recent murders being reported in the article below come despite a recent peace agreement between the Christian Kachin and the predominantly Buddhist Burmese military. Burma (Myanmar) has been in a nearly constant state of war with various ethnic groups such as the Kachin, Chin, and Karen for more than five decades as these groups seek independence. Discrimination and persecution against Christian members of the ethnic groups has been a consistent element in the conflict. 
6/28/2013 Burma (CSW) – Christian Solidarity Worldwide  has learned that a Kachin civilian named Zahkung Lum Hkawng was tortured, beaten and shot dead by the Burmese Army in Northern Shan State on 14 June. The killing occurred just weeks after the Burmese government and the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) signed a seven-point agreement in Myitkyina on 30 May.
On the night of 14 June, Zahkung Lum Hkawng, aged 45, was taking his turn as a security guard for his village, Nawng Hen, when Burmese troops entered the village and demanded that the village head provide a guide for them. Lum Hkawng was forced to accompany the troops to Mung Ya Hka Zup village where they clashed with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the armed wing of the KIO. The Burmese Army troops accused Lum Hkawng of deliberately leading them into an ambush. They beat and tortured the victim and before shooting him dead.
On the same day, an unnamed villager was killed by the Burmese Army at the road between Nan Gat and Ying La villages. A group of villagers from Nawng Hen who went to retrieve the victim’s body were stopped by Burmese Army troops at Nan Gat village and told that they were not allowed to go any further. The same afternoon another round of fighting took place between Burmese troops and the KIA, giving the neighbours the opportunity to take the victim’s body back to his remaining family members, including his elderly mother, wife, and six children.
The Burmese Army and KIO are engaged in ongoing talks to resolve the two-year conflict. On 30 May the two sides reached a seven-point deal in which they agreed to “undertake efforts to achieve de-escalation and cessation of hostilities”. There is an urgent need to end the conflict, which has resulted in the displacement of at least 100,000 civilians as well as numerous human rights violations.
In a four-week fact-finding visit to Burma earlier this year, CSW reported testimonies of internally displaced Kachin people who had experienced horrific physical, psychological and sexual torture. CSW’s report welcomed signs of political change in the country, but highlighted “many very grave challenges and concerns, particularly in respect to the protection of human rights, including freedom of religion or belief”.

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