Burma army takes KIA post on Stilwell road

Share

DSC00823

On February 11 troops from Burma's army took control of a long held Kachin Independence Army post on the road between Myitkyina and Danai in Kachin State, the Kachin News Group has learned.

DSC00823

On February 11 troops from Burma's army took control of a long held Kachin Independence Army post on the road between Myitkyina and Danai in Kachin State, the Kachin News Group has learned.

The post located at Nam Sai on the old Stilwell road was previously under the control of the 14 Battalion of the KIA's 2nd Brigade. KIA troops manning the post were forced to retreat earlier this week when a group at least 200 troops launched a surprise raid on the post.

Following the seizure of the post large numbers of troop reinforcements were sent to Danai from the Burma Army’s Regional Military Command (ROC) in Myitikyina. The troop reinforcements were dressed as civilians but local witnesses say the convoy had obvious signs they were transporting troop reinforcements.

Currently, several army units estimated to comprise more than 300 troops are involved in an offensive against KIA territory near the Loi Mye Bum mountain, located between the Hugawng (also Hukaung) valley and the Hpakant jade mining district, according to KIA personnel on the frontline.

In a phone interview with the Kachin News Group, Col. Jumhpawk James Lum Dau, the longtime deputy foreign affairs chief for the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) who currently serves as a representative to the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), criticized the army's maneuvering ahead of peace talks next week. “Thein Sein’s government never sticks to its promise. Government forces and military supplies are being sent to the front lines even though there is going to be talks”, he said.

Burma military uses Yuzana company in Hugawng valley as weapon stock
Burma army units stationed in the Hujawng (Hukaung) valley are using the Yuzana company’s huge plantations to store weapons to be used against KIA positions in the valley, according to local residents.

Army troops on Wednesday were seen picking up weapons stored in buildings on a Yuzana plantation near Wa Ra Zup village. The weapons and other supplies were moved to the nearby military base belonging to Infantry Battalion No. 297 in Jahtu Zup village, eyewitnesses tell the Kachin News Group.

According local villagers living in the Hugawng valley, over the past few years Burma army units have trained and armed hundreds of Yuzana workers who form a pro-government militia. Most of the workers who are part of the militia are not Kachin and originate from Arakan (Rakhine) state or the Irrawaddy delta.

The Yuzana company and its owner Htay Myint (now an MP for the ruling USDP party) have been the subject of controversy in the Hugawng valley since 2006 when the firm with the support of Maj. Gen. Ohn Myint, then northern military commander, expropriated 200,000 acres of land from small scale farmers to make way for large scale sugarcane and tapioca plantations.

An estimated 10,000 small scale farmers were left landless by the seizures which resulted in little to no compensation for the vast majority of those displaced.

KNG BURMESE WEBSITEKNG KACHIN WEBSITE