Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The 'New Democratic Army – Kachin' (NDAK) was ceremonially transformed into the 'Border Guard Force' (BGF) under the wings of the Burmese Army on Sunday.
The ceremony held at NDAK headquarters, Pan Wah was attended by junta's Kachin State Northern Command Commander Maj. Gen. Soe Win and Director General of Defense Services Border Guard Force Department Maj. Gen. Maung Maung Ohn. At the function the NDAK officials were appointed as government recognized commissioned officers.
"As government staff members, the officers will get salary and authority in their local region. They will also be issued uniforms, medicines and officially appointed as battalion commanders among other posts," the Chairman Sakhon Tin Ying told Mizzima.
NDAK is the breakaway faction of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). It reached a ceasefire agreement with the junta in 1993. After the junta pressurized all ceasefire groups to transform their armies into the Burmese Army controlled BGF, the NDAK accepted on 24 June this year.
The BGF’s rule states that personnel only in the age group of 18 to 50 can join the force. The NDAK Chairman Sakhon Tin Ying cannot join BGF but he will play a leading role only in sectors of health, education and other development work in Pan Wah region, it is learnt.
The three newly formed battalions of the BGF will be stationed in Waw Chong region, east of Chi Bwe, near Phi Maw village as No. 1001 Battalion, Pan Wah region near Lope Pi village as No. 1002 Battalion and finally in Chi Bwe Township, Kampaiti, near Wan Khun village as No. 1003 Battalion.
There will be 18 officers and 308 soldiers of other ranks from the ceasefire group. But an officer of the rank of Major, two of the rank of Captain and 27 from other ranks will be from the Burmese Army in the newly formed BGF battalions.