Burmese Army stockpiles weapons in Yuzana Company, Hukawng Valley

The Burmese military junta is stockpiling weapons in Yuzana Company’s crop plantation area in Hukawng Valley in the country’s northern Kachin State to take on the Kachin ethnic army, said local sources close to company insiders.

The weaponry, including small arms and artillery, are being stockpiled inside the company’s compound. It is likely to be in preparation to launch an onslaught on the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and its armed wing the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), a valley resident told Kachin News Group.
The company has dozens of workers houses and buildings, where weapons can easily be stored by the Burmese Army. These buildings have been constructed between Ban Kawk (Bangkok) and Wara Zup villages on Stilwell Road, also known as Ledo Road between Myitkyina-Danai in the valley, said the sources.

The 14th battalion of the 2nd Brigade of the KIA is based near Nam Byu. This is the point closest to the Yuzana Company infrastructure in the valley, making it easy for the Burmese Army to launch an attack, it is learnt.

When the Burmese Army attacked the Kokang rebels known as the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) in August 2009, dozens of government personnel in Danai (Tanai) township in the valley were hastily evacuated to Kachin’s capital Myitkyina by Burmese soldiers.

The government personnel were evacuated because war was about to break out between the KIA and Burmese Army related to the Kokang onslaught.

In the wake of this situation, hundreds of the company’s workers were given short but intensive military training and provided arms batch by batch by the Burmese Army’s Infantry Battalion No. 297 based in Sahtu Zup under the Regional Operation Command (ROC) in Danai.

With the blessings of the Burman-led junta leaders, the Rangoon-based Yuzana Company chaired by U Htay Myint has seized over 400,000 acres of land for sugar cane and cassava plantations, from farmers in Kachin soil -- the Hukawng Valley since 2006.

The company is also transporting tens of thousands of Burman people from southern Burma to the valley in the guise of company workers.

These Yuzana Company’s activities have been opposed by native Kachin people, Kachin organizations and environmentalists.

In April last year, Burmese junta despatched over 18 tanks to Kachin State from Mandalay along the Mandalay-Bhamo-Myitkyina Road as part of the preparation of an attack on the KIO.

The ceasefire between KIO and Burmese junta broke down on September 1 last year. However, both sides are avoiding a fresh civil war before a new Burmese government is installed in the country.
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