Over 20,000 IDPs in NE Burma flee to safety


samsung-refu-engMap of new IDPs which are produced by the current war between KIA and Burma army

The four days of heavy fighting between the Burma Army and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Burma’s northeast Shan State has produced over 20,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), according to IDP assistance groups.

Most IDPs are mothers and their children as well as elderly men and women who are fleeing to nearby towns, churches and the China border, leaving behind their homes, livestock, paddy fields, land and crops, sources said.

Most IDPs are in the area under control of the KIA’s Brigade 4 in Kutkai and Muse townships in Northern Shan State, which became war zones Sept. 24.

KIA Brigade officers said there are over 5,000 households with over 250,000 people in the area. They are mainly ethnic Kachins and Shans, said KIA officials. Continue reading “Over 20,000 IDPs in NE Burma flee to safety”

Breaking News: Burma Army takes control KIA’s Brigade 4

KIA-ba-4The Burma Army took control this afternoon of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA)’s 4th Brigade Command in Shan State, after the fourth day of heavy fighting, KIA officers confirmed.

According to a KIA officer at the frontline, government troops entered into the Loikang-based 4th Brigade Command in Northern Shan State at about 4:30 p.m. local time, after the troops of KIA Battalion 29 withdrew from the command headquarters.

Now, the KIA’s Northern Shan State Brigade Command and the military bases of KIA Battalions 2, 9 and 29, which protect the brigade command, are under control of the Burma Army.

The KIA fighters withdrew because they are unable to withstand the non-stop barrage of 120 mm mortar rounds fired by government troops, said KIA brigade officers.

Hundreds of villagers around KIA’s 4 brigade are fleeing to safe places any way they can since Burmese troops entered into the Brigade Command, KIA officers said.

In the KIA’s 4th Brigade controlled area northeast of Kutkai, there are over 5,000 households with over 250,000 civilians, said brigade officers.

Skirmishes are continuing day and night around the fallen KIA brigade command and the battalions, said local people.

At the same time in Kachin State, more government troops are approaching the position around the KIA headquarters at Laiza, KIA officers at the frontlines said.

Currently, there is no heavy fighting between the Burma Army and the KIA in Kachin State

Poppy fields on the Thai border destroyed by Wa

The United Wa State Army (UWSA) has reportedly been destroying many acres of poppy plantations in its controlled areas in Shan State East’s Mongton township, opposite Thailand’s Chiangmai province, saying anyone who complain about its action will be placed under custody, according to local sources.

“People therefore are afraid to show their dissatisfaction against their actions,” said one of the poppy farmers from the Mongton.
The destruction campaign was launched authorities from the UWSA’s 171st Military Region since early this month following the group’s signing of a new ceasefire agreement with Naypyitaw on 6 September.

Between 2005 and 2009,   poppy fields were rarely seen in the UWSA controlled areas both on the Sino –Burma border and on the Thai-Burma border, after the group declared a drug free zone on 26 June 2005. The group has also been holding drug bonfire ceremony every year since in order to reaffirm its pledge to the world given in 2005, according to the UWSA.

A local farmer recalled, “Before its relations with the Burma Army deteriorated, the group destroyed the fields by pulling the plants out including the roots.” Continue reading “Poppy fields on the Thai border destroyed by Wa”