Burmese troops prepare major assault on Kachin’s administrative capital

Burmese Army prepares to launch a major offensive against Kachin’s administrative capital Laiza, local sources reported. About 1000 Burmese soldiers from various Battalions including Tactical 1 and 2 and infamous 88th LID took a stronghold in Gang Dau Yang and Daw Hpum Yang in preparation of a major assault on Kachin headquarters. Local sources reported that 13 Burmese Army trucks transported heavy artilleries including 105 mm, 120 mm howitzers and field guns to Gang Dau Yang since last Wednesday. Skirmishes occur daily near Npawn village and Ja Hta village as Burmese Army continues its offenses to get a stronghold in areas around Gang Dau Yang. “Latest troops movements and transportation of military equipment all indicated that Burmese Army is preparing for a major assault,” said a local observer.

A fierce fighting between soldiers under KIA’s 5th Brigade, 19th Battalion and Burmese Army broke out on April 6 as Burmese Army has substantially increased its attacks directed at the headquarters of KIA’s 5th Battalion, 3rd Brigade, and the KIO’s Administrative Headquarter.

Another source reported that Burmese Army transported food rations and military equipment to its post at Pajau hill by using helicopters on April 6 between 5 and 6 am. KIA’s Pajau hill was seized by Burmese Army during offensive war in 1987. Local sources also say that Burmese Army’s Bureau of Air Defence got 3 fighter jets ready at Nampong Air Force Base in Myitkyina for upcoming assault on KIA.

The basic agreements of Ruili’s meetings that were made public on January 19 and March 10 of this year clearly mentioned that both sides agreed to the fundamental importance of reduction in the scale of hostilities for future peace and will work to decrease volatile confrontation as opposing forces are in close proximity. Both sides agreed to work towards attaining mutual understanding and to agree on the time when steps toward de-escalation might begin. However, not only has the intensity of hostility not been reduced, the Burma Army has actually increased its scope of attack, range of weaponry and manpower since two sides departed from Ruili.

Kachin government repeatedly asked the Burmese Army to withdraw to the line agreed on in a 1994 ceasefire agreement to show that its peace initiatives are sincere and genuine. Most recent battles took place in KIO’s recognized territories during ceasefire period from 1994-2011.