Six villagers from upper Man Loi village who were cutting firewood at the junction of upper Man Loi and Ho Pat villages in Namsan Township, Ta’ang (Palaung) Self-administrative region in northern Shan State, were abducted by Kachin Independent Army (KIA) on January 10.
There was a dispute on village border between villagers from two villages. But, locals said the dispute should be discussed and solved between villagers rather than intervened by armed group.
“I don’t like this kind of arrest to villagers. If there is problem, it should be solved in peaceful way. This should not have happened. We object this kind of action of any group.” said village head U Thien Htee.
Six villagers arrested are Mai Aik Maung, Mai Aik Mone, Mai Thein Htwe, Mai maung Aye, Mai Aik Laut and Mai Aung Kyaw. One of them is differently abled person.
As KIA took the villagers in Mangton Township, more than 300 villagers launched an demonstration march to Mangton town for the release of abducted villagers. But, they could only reached to COVID-19 checkpoint and had to come back.
“Related to the matter of abducted villagers, we are asked to come and meet in Mangton. So, to be able to bring back these villagers, we have marched to Mangton. But, they have not been released yet,” a local villager said.
Village head confirmed that six abducted villagers were not yet released and they were not allowed to meet with their families.
Upper Man Loi and Ho Pat villages are situated next to each other and in recent years the dispute between two villages started and KIA had called village leaders for many times.