Thu 30 Jun 2011
Filed under: On The Border
Burmese troops are officially crossing over to China to storm the border-based Kachin Independence Army (KIA) headquarters in Laiza from Chinese territory from June 29 morning, said eyewitnesses on the border.
About 200 Burmese troops in civilian clothes entered the Chinese border trade town of Ruili (Shweli) from the Burmese trade town in Muse on Wednesday between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. local time, said military observers and eyewitnesses in Ruili.
Burmese troops with civilian clothes stood in line at the Muse border checkpoint for applying for the red-coloured border-crossing passports.
Eyewitnesses said 60 to 70 Burmese soldiers in civilian clothes stood in line at the Muse border checkpoint for applying for the red-coloured border-crossing passports, which are needed to cross to Jiegao the Chinese border checkpoint.
Burmese soldiers who hold passports, crossed to Ruili but some were yet to cross over to China till 5 p.m. local time, added eyewitnesses.
KIA officers on the border said Burmese soldiers in civilian clothes, who have crossed into Chinese territory and Muse, are all commandos.
A high ranking KIA officer on the border said, “We realize Burmese troops will launch a military offensive on us from the rear from Chinese territory.”
At the same time, hundreds of Burmese troops have been deployed near KIA’s capital Laiza and 3rd Brigade based in eastern Kachin State near the China border since early June.
Over 300 Kachin militiamen from the former Kachin Defense Army (KDA), loyal to the Burmese government also crossed into Chinese territory from Muse on June 28, said sources close to the KDA.
The border-crossing authorization from China to the militiamen and Burmese troops comes after Burmese and KDA senior officials met Chinese military officers in Mangshi in China’s Yunnan province, bordering Burma on June 23.
From early June, Burmese troops are also being deployed along the Muse-Mandalay highway, the largest border trade route of the country, said eyewitnesses.
At the Mangshi meeting, the Burmese Army decided to capture the KIA headquarters in Laiza and Maijayang, the command headquarters of KIA’s 3rd Brigade near the China border.
Civil war broke out in Kachin State after Burmese troops launched a military offensive on the KIA at Sang Gang in N’mawk (Momauk) township in Manmaw (Bhamo) township in Kachin State on June 9.
The war has created 15,156 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) near the China border according to a list by WPN, the Kachin refugee registration group. However the total IDPs could be over 20,000 if IDPs hiding near China border and inside Chinese territories is taken into account.
According to KIA officials and IDPs, China not only refuses to recognize Kachin IDPs but is also not allowing opening of refugee camps on its soil.