ICC Note: Three Burmese soldiers charged with murder as they confess their responsibility for killing three Kachin refugees (mostly Christian ethnic minority) in town of Mansi. The three victims were taken into custody as they were heading back to their camp after gathering some firewood. Their bodies appeared to have signs of torture and gunshot wounds were discovered 3 days later by the camp residents. This is not the first time that Myanmar’s soldiers have been accused of killing and committing other abuses against ethnic minority groups. Recently the government forces have targeted Rohingyas in Rakhine state and the atrocities committed have been widely condemned by the world.
09/20/2017 Myanmar (Radio Free Asia) – Six Myanmar soldiers, including regiment officers, have admitted to killing three ethnic Kachin refugees in the town of Mansi in northern Myanmar’s Kachin state, where the national army is engaged in hostilities with an ethnic armed group, a village official said.
The soldiers confessed that they were responsible for the killings during a hearing at military court on Tuesday in Mansi.
The three male refugees — Nhkum Gam Awng, 31, Maran Brang Seng, 22, and Labya Naw Hkum, 27, — were taken into custody on May 25 by soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion 319 while they were heading back to their refugee camp after gathering firewood near Hka Pra Yang village, sources told RFA’s Myanmar Service at the time.
Their bodies were found three days later in nearby Maikaung village, they said.
“They admitted they killed three internally displaced persons,” said Peter Bauk Ja, the administrator of Mung Hkawng village, who attended the hearing. “We don’t know when they will be sentenced.”
Two soldiers, two officers, and a battalion commander from the government army’s 319th Light Infantry Regiment have been charged with murdering the trio, according to media reports.
The three Kachin men who were killed had been detained with two others who were released and returned to their camp after briefly being held, according to a May 30 report by Agence France-Press.
Their bodies, bearing gunshot wounds and signs of torture, were found on May 28 by residents of the camp, home to many of the estimated 100,000 people displaced by clashes between ethnic separatist fighters and government troops in the region, AFP said.