Fighting between Kachin Independent Army (KIA) and Burmese Government Army has escalated in the past week in KIA’s 5th Brigade areas. Kachinnet reported that KIA soldiers under 5th Brigade fought against Burmese Army soldiers under 29th LIB on Feb 25, 2012 for an hour starting from 8:00am near Namsam Hka bridge. No casualties have been reported from either side.
On Feb 24, KIA soldiers of 253rd Battalions have fiercely fought against Magwe-based Burmese Army soldiers under 88th LID for seven hours starting from 6:30am in the morning. The fighting took place between Sama and Htaura Hkyet. At least 8 Burmese soldiers were reportedly killed in the battle, said front line source.
On Feb 23, a fierce battle between KIA soldiers under 5th brigade and Burmese Army’s 88th LID took place at about 4:45 pm at Bak Nan (Sama crossroad). 7 Burmese Army soldiers were killed in this battle, said source. Another fierce fighting that began at 8:15 am on Feb 23rd near Nam Ngau Hka killed at least 2 Burmese soldiers, a front line source said.
Burmese Army is largely unsuccessful in its campaign to annihilate KIA with more than 200 battalions and Light Infantry Divisions that were established to fight against foreign invasion. Though President Thein Sein ordered to halt military offences in Kachin areas, Burmese army repeatedly ignored the order and continued its offenses against KIA and Kachin civilians. There are more than 70,000 internally displaced persons currently living in perilous conditions along Sino-Burma border due to increased human right abuses in war zones.
KIO and Burmese government met for six times since renewed fighting began in last June. KIA’s Chief of Staff General Gunhtang Gam Shawng recently said there were fundamental differences in views between KIO and Burmese government. While KIO expresses its willingness to engage with Burmese government for political talks based on Panglong Agreement for political solutions, Burmese government says any political settlement should be based on 2008 constitution. Because of bitter experiences suffered during 17 years of ceasefire, General Gam Shawng says they will not seek ceasefire agreement until a lasting political settlement for equal rights and self-determination is achieved.
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