Thu 21 Mar 2013
Filed under: Inside Burma,Military,News
Burma’s military continued to attack Kachin Independence Army (KIA) posts in Kachin and northwestern Shan states over the last week. The small isolated clashes came despite repeated claims from senior government officials including Burma President Thein Sein that all fighting in northern Burma had ended.
Last Tuesday evening, the Light Infantry Battalion 432 fired mortar around the Shan village of Konlaw located about 10 km from Bhamo. They attacked Konlaw post in Momauk (N’Mawk) township in Kachin state at approximately 7 pm, according to sources in the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO).
Over the weekend, KIA forces and army troops clashed in northern Shan state, continuing until Monday, according to KIO officials. Infantry 130 based in Namtu attacked the Man Dung KIA post. They were assisted by the Infantry 502 based in Kyaukme. Although there were no casualties from the Kachin side, government shelling destroyed several civilians’ homes. Monday saw both sides trade fire near the Man Dung KIA post.
The clashes in northern Burma contradict statements by Thein Sein during his recent trip to Europe
“There’s no more hostilities, no more fighting all over the country, we have been able to end this kind of armed conflict,” said the president during a joint press conference with Austria’s President Heinz Fischer earlier in the month. Thein Sein was in the Austrian capital as part of a 10 day tour of Europe. Late last week he traveled to New Zealand and Australia – the first ever for a Burmese of head since the ‘70’s.
The Australian government announced the re-establishment of long dormant military ties between the two nations. Despite the fact that this is still an arms export ban on Burma the Australian military plans to provide the Burma’s military training about disaster relief and “human rights”. In the past, Australia was criticized by rights groups for providing similar military training to Indonesia.