Hundreds Displaced as Burma Army Shells Kachin Rebel Post

Myanmar, Burma, The Irrawaddy, Kachin Independence Army, internally displaced persons, IDPs, Tatmadaw, army, military, ethnic conflict, KIA, KIO, Mai Ja Yong

A Kachin rebel at Hka Ya Bhum, an outpost of the Kachin Independence Army in Lajayang. (Photo: Steve Tickner / The Irrawaddy)

MAI JA YANG, Kachin State — Heavy fighting between government forces and troops from the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) displaced more than 300 local residents in eastern Kachin State on Thursday.

The fighting began Thursday morning when government troops attacked KIA Third Brigade positions close to Mai Ja Yang, the second-largest town controlled by the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), aid workers operating in the area told The Irrawaddy. The KIO is the political wing of the KIA.

The fighting has already displaced some 300 people from U Yang and Nam Hka villages who arrived in Man Win Gyi, a government-controlled town, on Thursday afternoon. As the fighting has continued, more are expected to arrive at the local Catholic church.

Aid workers worry that the fighting will affect more than 1,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) currently staying at the Lagat Yang IDP camp, which is in KIO-controlled territory. Throughout the day on Thursday, Burma Army forces fired heavy artillery at a KIA position on Na Lung Bum mountain, less than 500 meters away from Lagat Yang. A few of the shells landed very near to the camp, according to staff from Wunpawng Ninghtoi (WPN), a local Kachin aid group.

Also on Thursday, a 40-year-old Shan villager named Chit Bwe from the village of Nawng Jung, very near to Lagat Yang, was injured by a shell believed to have been fired from government positions at Nawng Lum, WPN staff told The Irrawaddy.

As of Thursday afternoon, many Lagat Yang residents were preparing to head to Nan Moon, a small Shan village on the Sino-Burmese border. If the fighting spreads, they will likely try and cross into China.

Chinese authorities, however, appear reluctant to allow the IDPs to cross into neighboring Yunnan province. “We are very concerned about the safety of the IDPs,” said WPN’s director Mary Tawm.

While most of the affected IDPs are ethnic Kachin, some are also Shan and Palaung. Many of the residents of Lagat Yang were previously living at a camp in Nam Lim Pa village that came under attack by the army last November. Nam Lim Pa was seized by government forces just minutes after an aid convoy from a church group affiliated with the Burmese Catholic church entered the KIO-controlled village via government territory.

In a related development, the road from the government town of Man Win Gyi to the Chinese town of Nandau was closed by Burmese government authorities, potentially complicating efforts by humanitarian groups trying to reach the newly arrived IDPs.

Thursday’s fighting comes less than 48 hours after a KIO delegation led by Gen. Gun Maw took part in joint talks in Rangoon involving government officials and the KIO’s fellow representatives from the National Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT).

Fighting has been on and off between the ethnic Kachin rebels and government troops since June 2011, when a 17-year ceasefire agreement between the two sides collapsed.

8 Responses to Hundreds Displaced as Burma Army Shells Kachin Rebel Post

  1. Rakhines, Chins, Wa, Shans, Karenni, Karens and Mons need to send their fighters to assist the Kachins. I witnessed Rakhine soldiers and Chin soldiers there in 2012 fighting. It encouraged me and it uplifted the spirit of the Kachins. We must do the same this time. Min Aung Hlaing must be given some lessons.

  2. The Government’s message is clear. Disarming by all means is their ultimate goal. Present peace talk is only one tool of their tactics. It is overdue for the ethnic armies to wake up to unite for all’s surviving. Without achieving Strong Unite Ethnic Army, this insult cannot be stopped.

  3. Ambush the regime’s dogs and cut their heads off. And feed the vultures with fresh meat.

  4. Sickening to hear all this news. When will it end? When will sincerity begin?

  5. Non-Burman ethnic leaders seemingly have not internalized the ancient wisdom “Unity is strength” yet. This wisdom is taught in school, statues of a aging father with three sons trying to break a bundle of sticks are erected virtually every public space. Yet, they have miserably failed to take this wisdom into heart. Burmese on the hand are united against the non-Burman ethnic rebels. Thein Sein fights from political front while Min Aung Hlaing fights from military front.

    Now, Kachin suffers. Once Kachin falls, the rests will suffer next. No doubt about this!!!

    What is fucking wrong with these rebel groups – cannot unite in fighting against the common foe?

  6. Peace is beautiful. Feel the peace!

    • Peace what…..? Sorry. I can’t hear you very well over here in Mai Ja Yang with noises from all of those gun fire, shelling and howling by the Burman soldiers. C

  7. Fox than shwe, child soldier ming aung hlaing start to worry about Ukraine Crimea separation so those thugs must kill all Kachin first. The next targets are Shan, Karen, Arakan and others. Be prepared to be united in all ethnics and it is your last chance to conquer those cruel bama private army,headed by unfair opportunistic fox than shwe.
    DASSK is now away from Burma so fox think ordinary people are helpless without DASSK. China is now wait and see who will win the game between DASSK and USDP(unethical soldier disorder party).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available. Comments with external links in the body text will be deleted by moderators.