Govt Troops, KIA Engage in Fresh Clashes

KIA soldiers aim their machine gun at Burmese government troop positions during fighting in January 2013. (Photo: Steve Tickner / The Irrawaddy)

KIA soldiers aim their machine gun at Burmese government troop positions during fighting in January 2013. (Photo: Steve Tickner / The Irrawaddy)

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) engaged in fresh clashes with government troops on Monday morning in an area under the control of KIA Brigade 4 in northern Shan State, according to KIA sources.

La Nan, the spokesperson for the KIA’s political wing, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), told The Irrawaddy that Infantry Battalions (IB) 145 and 290 of the Burmese army’s Northeastern Command approached outposts belong to the KIA’s Battalion 17 on Sunday evening and fighting broke out for about an hour. Fighting resumed the next morning when the Burmese forces launched an offensive with three columns, he said.

“It was like a threat when the government troops approached our outposts the other day. We felt that we were pushed into a tight corner, so we were forced to fight,” said La Nan, adding that the government troops used heavy weapons in the exchange.

Based on ground information his headquarters had received, he said that the Monday clash that started at around 6 am was quite furious. No casualties were reported from either side, he added.

Armed engagements between the two armies have reportedly decreased in most KIA-controlled areas since preliminary meetings for political talks between the KIO and the government were held on Feb. 4 and March 11-12. The KIA said it welcomes such developments.

However, it claims that at least five small-scale clashes have occurred since those meetings because of government troops approaching areas in its Brigade 4 and 2 territories and carrying out road construction.

The Irrawaddy contacted the President’s Office and the government’s peace committee for comment about the incident on Monday morning, but did not receive a response.

The KIO spokesperson also added that the recent clashes will not have any impact on the next meeting between the KIO and the government’s Union Peacemaking Working Committee, which the two sides agreed to hold before April 10.

However, he said that the coming meeting should cover situations in frontline areas as well as focusing on other issues.

“These clashes are the consequences of their military movement, so this needs to be addressed in order to proceed to the next level of talks between the KIO and government,” stressed La Nan.

6 Responses to Govt Troops, KIA Engage in Fresh Clashes

  1. George Than Setkyar Heine

    HOLD the FORT and you won’t REGRET IT of course.
    Never PUT FAITH nor TRUST in the VIPERS at Naypyidaw as well.
    PLAY the GAME SMART and DON’T FAIL to CALL their BLUFF as well I say.
    Min Aung Hlaing is NOT SINCERE much less HONEST since day one until today.
    GUNN MAW KNOWS BETTER of course I bet.
    When in MEETINGS LOOK THEM IN THE EYE and YOU WILL FIND the CLUES no less trust me.
    Remember always FIGHT ANOTHER DAY and DIE ANOTHER DAY as well.

  2. Cease first then talk later.

  3. Why waste time and effort to talk like human to the DOGS to give them propaganda BS which they use to fool the public of Burma and global audience as dutifully parroted by the “dissident” media is beyond comprehension. Do not descend to the level of filth again.

  4. The clashes have a real impact to the peace. The arm groups are now more closer than ever. It will be impossible to break and swallowed by the Government. The Acts of the Government troops is indirectly and directly in many cases supporting the forming of United Ethnic Army which will eventually gain the strength to challenge directly to Min Aung Hlaing. No many solutions left, but to respect the Kachins and Recognize their rights. The Government troops must understand that they are teasing the Lion.

    • The arm groups will never get closer and never will. That’s why you guys are fighting for decades with never ending sight. Each one of you is asking for own autonomy, fighting to achieve your own goals but not working as a whole. What more you can do than a guerrilla war-fare.

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