Monday, September 26, 2011

Burmese government offensive prevents halt to fighting: KIO

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) - Fresh fighting between more than 800 Burmese government soldiers and Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) troops started four days ago during a government offensive, making it difficult to achieve a cease-fire agreement, according to KIO spokesman La Nang.

KIO troops at headquarters in a training session. They are now engaged in renewed fighting with Burmese government troops. Photo: Mizzima
KIO troops at headquarters in a training session. They are now engaged in renewed fighting with Burmese government troops. Photo: Mizzima
“To stop the fighting now is not easy. As long as their troops are in the area, there is a serious possibility of a civil war. The fighting in the area of our Brigade No. 4 has occurred because of the government offensive,” La Nang told Mizzima.

Burmese government troops fired 120 mm, 150 mm, 81 mm and 75 mm mortars into KIO bases. The KIO responds by using guerilla tactics.

In the fighting in Muse and Kutkai areas in Shan State, at least 100 government soldiers have died and about 50 are injured, according to La Nang. He said one KIO military officer died and two KIO soldiers were injured.

A total of more than 800 Burmese soldiers from battalions under the Northeast Command including Infantry Units No. 45, 68, 69, 144 and 290 and Light Infantry Units No. 522, 502 and 507 under the Military Operations Command and Division 99 are aligned against KIO battalions No. 2, 8 and 9 under Brigade No. 4, La Nang said.

La Nang said that although the KIO wanted to hold a political cease-fire dialogue, the government’s fresh offensive showed that it wanted to use military ways to solve political problems and its actions are different from a statement by President Thein Sein regarding peace talks.

“If they threaten the KIO with military offensive to solve political problems, we cannot accept it. If they go on like this, it will be very unlikely for us to hold peace talks. The fighting does not seem to end. The war may be rather long,” La Nang said.

He said that fighting continued in the areas of Manjay village in Kutkai Township and Dmar, Huphyat and Datnine in Muse Township and Monton Township, which are KIO-held areas.

On Sunday, villagers from 10 villages in Muse and Kutkai townships started moving to the Sino-Burmese border area because of the renewed fighting. The exact number of refugees and their location is not unknown.

Moreover, on Saturday, KIO Battalion No. 16 under Brigade No. 3 and the government’s Infantry Unit No. 341 fired at each other near Lweje near the Sino-Burmese border, causing some residents to evacuate to China.

Meanwhile, since August, the KIO has blocked traders who supply construction material from China for the Myitsone Dam project on the Irrawaddy River from sending cement supplies to the area, forcing a halt to the dam construction work. However, now the government is buying cement from shops in Myitkyina, according to KIO, and the work may be restarted.
Post a Comment