Five Burmese Army Battalions Withdraw From Kokang

Written by KNG
Monday, 09 November 2009

Soldiers of five Burmese Army battalions deployed on the frontlines in ethnic Kokang territory in Northeast Shan State in Burma withdrew yesterday, said local sources.

Several hundred Burmese troops were transported to military bases in dozens of China-made military trucks. About 17 civilian pick-up trucks were also compelled to transport Burmese troops, said Toyota 4-Wheel drivers, who were at the receiving end.
The troops are mainly from the command of Theindi (Hsenwi in Shan)-based Military Operations Command 16 (MOC or Sa-Ka-Kha) such as Theindi-based Infantry Battalion (IB) No. 69 and IB 240, Kutkai-based IB 241 and IB 242, and Namlan-based IB No. 143, according to sources.

Military sources said, the troops were withdrawn from three different frontlines in Kokang, also called the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA)— the capital Laogai (also spelled Laukai), Konkyan and Yan-lon-kyaing, also spelled Yang Long Zhai. The withdrawal was said to have been done urgently by the Burmese Army. A local Burmese military observer told KNG today, the latest troop withdrawal would be about one-third of the total Burmese troops in MNDAA territory.

The Burmese Army broke a ceasefire agreement with the rebel Kokang and captured the rebel’s Laogai on August 24 through trickery and killed dozens of innocent Kokang Chinese (or Han Chinese) during the clashes with the rebels loyal to Peng Jiasheng between August 27 and 29.

The Kokang’s Deputy Chairman Bai Souqian loyal to Burma’s ruling junta transformed the group to small Kokang militia groups as desired by the regime in August.

Over 30,000 refugees fled Kokang to the Chinese border town Nansan in the country’s southwest Yunnan province.

The military offensive in Kokang was made following an understanding between China and the Burmese junta. However, China disliked the junta’s offensive with heavy armaments and troops, which killed dozens of innocent Kokang Chinese and looted their properties, said Chinese border security agents.

Before Kokang was captured, it was part of the ethnic military alliance formed by the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), United Wa State Army (UWSA) and Mongla-based National Democracy Alliance Army (NDAA).

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