Myanmar (Burma), Hpakant, Kachin State
The commander of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) battalion-6, U Tang Tsang (L), talks to a KIA soldier at a checkpoint in Aung Bar Lay village. The KIA battalion-6 used to have control over two small villages on the outskirts of Hpakant township called Kan Si and Aung Bar Lay, until in January 2015 when a fighting reportedly broke out between the Myanmar military and the KIA which displaced around 2000 villagers. The KIA was forced to move away from the vicinity of these mining towns leaving Kan Si and Aung Bar Lay to fall under the control of Myanmar military. However, local miners and traders believe that KIA is still present around Hpakant, collecting tax from the mining companies and the jade traders.
**NB: Images not available in Germany until November 2016.**