WEDNESDAY, 07 OCTOBER 2009 18:00 HSENG KHIO FAH
According to latest reports, increasing number of junta military trucks carrying hundreds of soldiers and supplies have been passing through areas controlled by the ceasefire group, Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’ since last week especially during night time.
At 21:00 on 5 October, a hundred soldiers from Shan State South’s Kunhing-Takaw based Infantry Battalion (IB) # 296 passed through the area of the 1st Brigade of SSA North near its main base Wanhai, Kehsi Township, said an eyewitness.
The force was led by the battalion commander Lt-Col Kyaw Win Naing and deputy commander Major Kyaw Naing.
The trucks were believed to be carrying ammo, mortars and other heavy weapons. They were coming from Mong Zarng, south of Monghsu, 189 miles northeast of Shan State capital Taunggyi, since 4 October at 20:00 (Burmese Standard Time), said a local villager in Monghsu.
A senior officer of the SSA North said, “They [junta] had never travelled at night before. They only moved during the day time. Even so, they would always inform us [SSA] two days in advance.” The junta’s nocturnal travels could be for three reasons, he added.
• To provoke the ceasefire groups
• To find out how prepared the ceasefire groups are
• To transfer heavy weapons without being seen
Early in the month, the Northeastern Region Command in Lashio, northern Shan State, ordered all battalions under its command to send more troops, supplies and food especially food that can be stored for months to areas facing the SSA’s General Headquarters, Hsengkeow and Mongkhurh base both in Hsipaw township, said a reliable source from the border.
Each battalion was ordered to store enough food to cover for 10,000 of men, he said.
A number of soldiers from Laogai, Kunlong and Hopang were reported to have moved to some of these battalions, said a source close to the SSA leadership.
At present, the junta military is sending more rations, weapons and troops to the ceasefire areas. At the same time they are pressuring all ceasefire to give respond to its demand to transform into Border Guard Forces by the end of the month.