Burma’s army has forcibly recruited teenagers for decades. The practice is slowly changing, but many former child soldiers live with the scars of their experiences.
The Oct. 31 deadline for the ethnic cease-fire groups in Burma to disarm has passed quietly in the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) capital of Laiza.
Observers are focused now on the ongoing KIO-junta negotiations.
After the junta rejected all nine negotiation proposals submitted by the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the KIO has changed its negotiation tactics.
The path of the pen or the path of the sword? Young Kachin in northern Burma are preparing and learning on both fronts.
The question dates back to antiquity, but recently it has come to life here in Kachin State where the Kachin have struggled for autonomy for generations.
The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) fought an armed insurgency for more than 30 years. Despite being out-numbered and out-armed, the KIA was never fully defeated, but they were not able to win full autonomy for the Kachin people.