(Image courtesy VBB)
Burma (MNN) ― Despite a ceasefire agreement signed in May, tensions remain high in Burma's Kachin state.
The following was taken verbatim from a report sent to Vision Beyond Borders (VBB) from their contact in the region:
"September 4, 2013: The intruding Burmese Army from the 66th Light Infantry Division arrested and tortured several village headmen, then later transferred them by the riverboat. Their village is under the KIO's 1st Brigade Administrative area.
The same Burmese troops occupied another village and molested the young girls from the village and took them to the jungle for sexual assault and rape, and later released them without clothes.
We are still investigating the details of this incident, how many girls were the victims of sexual violence in this village. The same time, the Burmese Army accused and arrested entire villagers of being supporters of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), then took them by riverboats."
A September 8 account from Kachinland News, as shared on BurmaLink.org, confirms the abuse. Burma Link.org is committed to helping both local and international actors take effective action to help the people of Burma.
"Local residents fear for an imminent escalation in the fighting as Burmese army has begun transporting more troops, food, guns and ammunition using military transport aircraft to KIA’s 7th Battalion area in Machyang Baw in northern Kachin State," the report adds.
VBB has been working with CFE Ministries for many years to help Burma's refugees. They've set up orphanages in the Karen and Karenni camps and have worked diligently to share the love of Christ.
They're now working to get supplies and aid to the Kachin in northern Burma, who are 98% Christian. In a May 2013 report, VBB noted how refugees have to move around constantly to find shelter and security. Medicine remains a top priority.
According to VBB, 364 villages have been fully or partially abandoned, with over 100,000 displaced people. The Kachin National Organization (KNO) has been documenting the Burmese army resupplying front-line posts for what appears to be a major offensive.
Pray for protection and wisdom for VBB's contact as he shares the hope of Christ with Burma's refugees. Pray for encouragement and perseverance for Kachin believers.
Click here to join a VBB medical missions trip which will visit refugee camps in December.