General N’Ban La has become the chairman of Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) after Zawng Hra took retirement on health grounds. Five major positions were also reshuffled, said Colonel Naw Bu, spokesperson of the Kachin Independence Organisation/Kachin Independence Army (KIO/KIA).
This change was an ordinary matter in the KIO/KIA and a wishing ceremony was held to mark the reshuffle at the headquarters of KIO/KIA in Laiza on January 2, Colonel Naw Bu said.
“Zawng Hra, chairman of KIO and president of Kachin Independence took retirement on old age and health grounds. He is almost 80 years old. Now the chairman is General N’Ban La, General Htang Gam Shawng is vice-chairman-1 and the commander-in-chief. SuamLut Gam is vice-chairman-2. Maj-General Gunmaw is vice-chairman-1 (KIC). Maj-General Zhaung Boat Htan is vice-chairman-2 (KIC). Today religious leaders made wishes. Changes are seen in the leadership role, but policies of the KIO/KIA won’t be changed,” Colonel Naw Bu said.
General N’Ban La served the duties as the vice-chairman-1. The KIO appeared in 1962. In 1994, the KIO signed the ceasefire with the military government and it lasted for 17 years. On June 9 in 2011, the government army re-clashed with the KIO because of the conflict near Terpain hydropower project in Moemauk, Kachin State. Now the tension has lasted for more than six years.
The government army frequently clashes with the KIO in Tanai area, Kachin State, and northern parts of Shan State.
KIO/KIA is among the founding members of the Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee (FPNCC) formed with United League of Arakan/Arakan Army (ULA/AA), Myanmar National Truth and Justice Party/Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNTJP/MNDAA), Palaung State Liberation Front /Ta’ang National Liberation Army (PSLF/TNLA), Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), Peace and Solidarity Committee/Shan State East National Democratic Alliance Association (PSC/NDAA) and United Wa State Party/Army (UWSP/UWSA).
These northern armed groups did not accept the NCA and sent their ceasefire agreement to the government. They announced that they would meet with the government with the leadership of the FPNCC, but the government did not recognise this committee.