While the Burma military is showing off their newly ordered Norinco SH-1 Truck-mounted 155mm Gun-Howitzer and other made-in-China hardware during their 68th
Armed Forces Day parade in Naypyitaw, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) continues to use their made-in-China hardware to fight back the Tatmadaw
Type 81 mod and Type 89 Heavy Machine Gun in service with the KIA
Photo courtesy of irrawaddy.org
Govt Troops, KIA Engage in Fresh Clashes
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
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.
United Wa State Army's M99 12.7mm Sniper Rifle
After seeing what happened to their neighbors, the United Wa State Army
is now busy arming themselves, fully expecting that they will be the
next target of the Tatmadaw.