Burmese Army Attacks Precede Scheduled Peace Talks

Burmese Army launched a series of attacks seizing three KIA front line posts just days before the scheduled peace talks between Ethnic Armed Groups’ Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) and Burmese government’s Union Peace-making Work Committee (UPWC) in Yangon, the former capital of Burma.

Burmese army’s 225th Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) troops on Tuesday launched an attack on KIA’s headquarters security forces’ Chyahkra Post at around 6 pm. The post is located just 3 miles away from Nam San village. KIA sources say they had to abandon the post as Burmese troops outnumbered the security forces.

On the same day, Burmese army’s 222nd LIB troops launched a similar attack on Nang Zaw Yang Post, a Kachin volunteers’ post located between Sam Pai and Wu Yan, at around 7 am. Shayaw Lum Hkawng, a volunteer, was killed in the attack, reported a KIA frontline source. KIA troops and Kachin volunteers had to leave from Nan Zaw Yang Post. The same post was attacked on March 8 by about 30 soldiers from Burmese army’s 140th LIB led by its deputy commander.

On March 9, Burmese army’s 252nd LIB troops currently stationed at Hka Ya Bum and Bumre Bum fired five 81 mm mortars on KIA’s 23rd Battalion positions in Naw Hpyu Bum and Lawa Rum near its headquarters Laiza at 8:30 pm.

KIO delegates have been preparing to join the 7th NCCT-UPWC meeting in Yangon on March 16-21. KIO has chosen 8 Central Committee members led by KIA’s Deputy Commander-in Chief Gen. Gun Maw, KIO General Secretary Dr. La Ja, and KIO’s chief peace negotiator Sumlut Gam to observe the NCCT-UPWC meeting. Gen. Gun Maw said the two sides had a plan to meet in Naypyitaw on their way from Mandalay to Yangon.