MONDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2009 21:35 S.H.A.N.
A few weeks after Kokang fell under the boots, shoes and sandals of the invading Burma Army, Bao Ai Roong, Commander of the United Wa State Army’s 318th Brigade that is responsible for security along the border with Kokang, was summoned to brief his superiors in Panghsang, the UWSA’s central headquarters.
The main question was how he managed to allow the Kokang forces, under the command of Peng Jaisheng, to be defeated in just 3 days of fighting. After all, his main base Namteuk (Nandeng in Chinese) is divided from Kokang’s Chinshwehaw (Qingshuihe), where the main battle was taking place, only by the Namting which could be crossed by a bridge over it.
Bao Ai Roong, who is the nephew of Wa supremo Bao Youxiang, gave several reasons including two main ones:
• There wasn’t a joint combat command set up to coordinate and direct the operation
• There wasn’t even a communication line set up between Qingshuihe and Namteuk (“When our troops arrived there in the afternoon of 29 August, they (Kokang) had already abandoned their mountain bases and retreated into China,” he said.
Which summed up the flaws on the ceasefire groups’ side that had been resisting the Burma Army’s April demand to transform themselves into Border Guard Forces (BGFs), nominally run by the ceasefire officers but practically by the Burma Army officers. “Unless our minimum political demands are met, we will never surrender,” said a Wa officer, which in a nutshell were autonomy, human rights and democracy. Continue reading “The ceasefire armies: Once bitten, once shy?” →
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