In a significant development an order has been released to all Burmese Army divisions and battalions in Shan State and Kachin State to prepare for combat, said sources close to a local Burmese military unit.
The order is meant for all Burmese troops in the two states and was dispatched from capital Naypyitaw, and the headquarters of Burma’s ruling junta on February 15, sources close to the Burmese military in the two states said.
The order instructs military divisions and battalions in the two states to be ready for combat. Interestingly, the name of the enemy to be taken on, is not mentioned in the order, added sources.
A Burmese military analyst on the Sino-Burma border told KNG today, the junta’s order is meant to prepare for an offensive against the two largest ethnic armed groups— the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) based both in Kashin State and Shan State, and United Wa State Army (UWSA). Both have rejected the Burmese Army-controlled Border Guard Force proposal by the junta.
Burmese junta supremo Snr-Gen Than Shwe wants to wrap up the contentious BGF issue, which is a proposal for all ethnic armed groups to transform to the Burmese Army-controlled BGF, before he announces the exact date for general elections this year, reliable local sources said. KIO officials in its Laiza Headquarters in Kachin State, near the China border said, they have been instructed by the junta to come up with a positive answer on transforming its armed-wing the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) to the BGF by the end of this month.
On the diplomatic side, China has requested Burma’s generals to avoid war with ethnic armed groups near its border with Burma in southwest Yunnan province.
Burmese soldiers stopped on Myitkyina-Bhamo Road in Kachin State, Northern Burma. Photo: Kachin News Group.
China is afraid that war will severely affect Chinese investments in mining and energy sectors. It stands to lose over USD 600 billion in Burma, said sources close to Chinese authorities in Yunnan.
So far the military alliance of KIO and UWSA say that they will not start a war against the ruling junta but they must prepare if the junta launches an offensive, said sources in the two groups.