Burmese Army Mounts Multi-front Offensive Against KIA
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Burmese Army Mounts Multi-front Offensive Against KIA

By BA KAUNG Monday, October 17, 2011

KIA troops leave Laiza for the front line (Photo: Jinghpaw Kasa Blog)

Deadly armed clashes between Burmese government troops and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) continued in Kachin and Shan states on Monday, according to KIA officials who said they believe the latest military offensives by the government side are aimed at taking control of their major strongholds.

Since Thursday, fighting has been reported at a number of locations considered to be key defensive positions en route to Pajau and Laiza, the KIA's two most important bases of operations.

One focal point has been Lung Zep Kong, a hill near Waimaw Township in Kachin State that lies along the way to Pajau, while sporadic fighting has also been reported in the village of Nam Sen Yang in Kachin State and in Tamonye, near Kutkai Township in Shan State.

“Government troops have mounted three major assaults on this hill since Friday, the latest one this morning, when it sent a strong force of around 600 men in an effort to occupy it,” said KIA Col Zau Raw, speaking to The Irrawaddy on Monday.

“We believe that these military operations show they intend to occupy Pajau.” he added.

According to KIA spokesman La Nan, fighting continued today at all three locations, with heavy casualties reported at Lung Zep Kong, most of them on the Burmese side, as the KIA mowed down soldiers ordered to take the hill.

“The government soldiers simply charged up the hill, leaving our soldiers with no option but to shoot them down,” said La Nan, adding that there were at least 30 bodies scattered around the area following fighting over the weekend.

The KIA spokesman said that at least 82 armed clashes have taken place since the beginning of October. Fighting first broke out in June, near Chinese-built hydropower plants in Bhamo Township, Kachin State, ending a 17-year-old ceasefire agreement between the two sides.

Even before the outbreak of fighting in June, however, tension had been growing over the government's insistence that the 10,000-strong KIA join a Border Guard Force (BGF) under Burmese military command—a demand the KIA rejected outright.

During two subsequent rounds of peace talks, the government offered the KIA a chance to renew the 1994 ceasefire agreement, but rejected the group's demands for a political dialogue between all ethnic armed groups and Naypyidaw.

The government has since then apparently shelved the controversial BGF plan, recently renewing temporary ceasefire agreements with the 20,000-strong United Wa State Army, the largest ethnic armed group in Burma, and another its much smaller ally, the Mongla group, based near the Chinese border.

Asked if the KIA would accept a ceasefire if government dropped the BGF demand, as it did with the UWSA, La Nan said the group would not accept another temporary ceasefire without achieving its political rights.

With much of the recent fighting taking place near the Sino-Burmese border, there have been reports that hundreds of Chinese army troops have been stationed along the border to prevent an influx of refugees and to maintain control over Chinese territory.

Related Story: Kachin Rebels Lose Major Stronghold as Govt Army Advances

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Ohn Wrote:
"Sit-tut" is a disgrace. A black mark for humanity. Every single soldier in Burmese military present and past should be ashamed of themselves.

People sucking up to the "Sit-tut" are the lowest of the life-form.

Shwe Aung Wrote:
This time KIA is in bad shapes. One of the reasons is a lot of trees have been cut. KIA could not hide like 16 yrs ago.

la mai Wrote:
India and China think about their own business in Myanmar. They do not care about that the people are going to be killed. They are not human. But animals. The Burma government bullies minority people. What is the united nation doing now? Sleeping? or afraid of China and India?

May Myanmar Wrote:
While fighting, brutally killing its own ethnic brothers, Naypyidaw listens respectfully to foreign powers. (Myanmar to take back refugees from Bangladesh http://www.burmanet.org/news/2011/10/17/indo-asian-news-service-myanmar-to-take-back-refugees-from-bangladesh/ )
( Recent report on Myitsone Dams by Chinese media. - http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-10/10/c_131183217.htm )

Oo Maung gyi Wrote:
Ethnic groups and Tamadaw should stop fighting now if president Thein Sein government really wants peace within Burma.

Under democracy system every problem should
solve under negotiation. Why fighting taking place if the government says that they are practicing democracy as they are elected government what they say? Enough is enough, now is the time to stop all the fronts.

Fred Wrote:
The new Burmese military surge puts a new light on matters. It appears that the dam postponement is largely a matter of telling China to get its citizens out of the way, so they don’t become war casualties. The pitifully small release of political prisoners appears designed to appease various groups, particularly the Shan, to discourage them from supporting the KIA. I would like to be wrong on this, but this is what I see happening.

Thein Sein’s images of peace and happiness appear to be a disguise for more intensive warfare. Perhaps India can help shift many of Burma’s troops to the other side of the country. Was this what their recent meeting was largely about?

Min Nway Wrote:
The so called Tat Ma Daw is bullied again our own Nationals KIA ,to get a favour of their master, China.

If Maha Ban Doo La is still alive, he will chase with a big knife to fight the so called Tat Ma daw, a group of thugs to give a good lesson for their misconduct.

kerry Wrote:
Why does a 'government' praying at overseas Buddhist monuments, seeking respect, and wanting international sanctions to be lifted still going to war on the people it is supposed to represent (who only seem to want dialogue)?

Friendships with Chinese groups is not the same as national reconciliation.

Chindits Wrote:
Don't give up until you get your Federal State which was stolen from you in 1961.

Sai Lang Kham Wrote:
The Burmese troops will quickly learn that the Kachin are doughty warriors and their continuing losses will not do Tatmadaw morale any good! Unlike the Wa, the Kachin have stuck by their agreement and demanded political dialogue between all ethnic armed groups and Naypyidaw.

Doubtless, the other armed groups salute the Kachin.

Kyaw Wrote:
Why the Government can not agree with the Kachins, why the peace talks end abruptly jut one inch away from singing the agreement? Why so many lives are wasted. These indicators are indicating that present Government is far from a democratic Government who is the parent of the country with patient and use peaceful means to settle such conflicts (Kine Indonesian Government). Use forces on its own peoples and minority armies are genocidal acts. I appeal to stop the military operation and to restart a peace talk through efficient mediator rather than direct meeting of the Soldiers which go nowhere.

Maung Maung Wrote:
I'm sad to learn of the renewed fighting between the Burmese Government armed force and the KIA. Both sides should know that it's futile to fight to gain any political end. They should negotiate meaningfully to stop this fighting and to end the fratricidal war.

manangwa Wrote:
God Be With You, KIA

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