Tatmadaw Gives KIO Personal Protective Equipment

By Network Media Group
Friday, May 22, 2020

A Tatmadaw delegation that included several high-ranking leaders met with Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) leaders on Wednesday to donate a shipment of medicine and personal protective equipment (PPE) for coronavirus prevention.

The meeting, which took place in Mai Sak Pa, near KIO’s Laiza headquarters, was brokered by the Kachin Peace Creation Group (Kachin PCG).

Lamai Gum Ja, from Kachin PCG, told NMG that the Northern Military Command office contacted them to inform them that they wanted to donate medicine and PPEs for COVID-19 prevention in KIO’s territory. Kachin PCG reported this to the KIO and arranged the meeting for the ethnic armed organisation.

Maj-Gen Khun Thant Zaw Htoo, the joint general quartermaster of the Burma Army, flew in a helicopter from Naypyitaw to the meeting to personally give the KIO leaders the donation. Sumlut Gam, Vice-Chair of KIO, and Lt-Gen Sumlut Gunmaw were present to receive supplies from the Tatmadaw.

The Burma Army donated N95 masks, surgical masks, face shields and other PPE and even some food donated by Army Chief Sen Gen Min Aung Hlain, according to a Tatmadaw press release.

Previously, KIO said it would prioritize prevention efforts to stop infections in its controlled area during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the middle of this month, KIO leaders met with Ne Win, Kachin State Minister of Social Affairs and other officials to discuss cooperation during the pandemic.

KIO’s military wing, the Kachin Independence Army, has been fighting with the Tatmadaw since a seventeen-year ceasefire unravelled on June 9, 2011.