Villagers Flee as Govt Troops Seize Another KIA Outpost

Burmese government troops display weapons seized from the KIA's Point 771 in Lajayang in this photo from the website of the military-owned newspaper Myawaddy. (Photo: Myawaddy)

Burmese government troops display weapons seized from the KIA’s Point 771 in Lajayang in this photo from the website of the military-owned newspaper Myawaddy. (Photo: Myawaddy)

As Burmese government troops seized control of another Kachin Independence Army (KIA) outpost on Wednesday, relief workers said that already overcrowded refugee camps near the group’s headquarters are seeing a fresh influx of civilians fleeing from intensified fighting.

The outpost, at the base of the Hpun Pyan Bum hill, about 7 km west of the KIA stronghold of Laiza, is the second KIA position in the area to fall since the Burmese government army stepped up its offensive late last month.

After days of airstrikes and artillery shelling that began in the final week of December, the KIA lost control of its Point 771 outpost near Lajayang on Jan. 3.

The Hpun Pyan Bum outpost, which was under the control of KIA Brigade 5, started coming under heavy artillery fire on Monday, and has also been the target of aerial attacks, according to sources in Laiza.

Speaking to The Irrawaddy on Wednesday, La Hseng, chairman of the Northern Command of the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF), a KIA ally, said that Burmese forces are continuing their advance on Laiza.

“Two columns of government troops are moving forward to launch attacks on bases surrounding Laiza,” said La Hseng.

According to Doi Pi Sa, the chairman of a committee overseeing camps for war-displaced civilians, hundreds of refugees have fled to camps near Laiza since the fighting began to intensify in late December.

Altogether, since a 17-year-old ceasefire between the KIA and the government army broke down in June 2011, more than 100,000 civilians have been forced to flee to areas controlled by both the KIA and the government.

“As the fighting escalates, the refugees desperately need more assistance because they have no way to support themselves,” said Doi Pi Sa. “They are also growing increasingly worried about their safety.”

6 Responses to Villagers Flee as Govt Troops Seize Another KIA Outpost

  1. Hundres of NGOs and INGOs have flocked to the refugee camps along Thai-Burma borders and taking care of some refuges and many faked refugees for humantarian assistance for many years. I am wondering how many NGOs and INGOs are helping 100% Kachin refugees along China-Burma borders? In the current situations, Kachin refugees are more deserved to get your help than Karen refugees.

  2. Come on guys..Don’t bite each other. Keep on trying,keep on fighting the never ending war, with no truce,no cease-fire,no retreat,no beg for help.Cos youu guys are brave enough, patriotic,great. Bravo..clapping!!

    And let your people,stay,starve, die in the jungles,in the ditches,in the caves,in the trenches,in the streams,in the refugee camps, FOREVER ..generations by generations.

    • Dear Saw Mya aye ( don’t care about Yebaw)
      I agree with you. Be careful on the stirring of Yebaw who also warns and prevents 88 GStudent from helping Kachin issue. Yabaw is lair and opportunistic rapist bama military one according to his name ( self-claimed hero). All ethnics should not be caught into his trick of ” “divide and rule”. Yabaw is jealous on NGO and INGO help on all ethnics. All knows bama military thugs does not allow UN inspection on Kachin refugees sufferings and its areas.

  3. Karen and Kachin must united to fight SPDC…

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