Military


It looks, smells, and feels like a war zone. The highway is lined with military vehicles and 120mm artillery guns point up into the mountains where rebel troops from a Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) splinter group hide. Locals have fled their homes, which are now occupied by soldiers of the Border Guard Force (BGF), the Burma Army-backed militia.

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Following a display of military might in an armed forces drill over the weekend, the Tatmadaw chief warned defence personnel that they must strictly follow the Geneva Convention and military code of conduct.

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The Burma Army raided an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp located inside a Kachin Baptist church compound in Sar Maw Village on the Myitkyina to Mandalay Railway line on 18 September.

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Due to the prevalence of landmines in the Maethawaw area, it is unsafe for displaced persons (IDPs) from the recent fighting to return to their homes, according to the local ethnic Karen Border Guard Force (BGF), which is operating under Burmese army command.

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Government forces in northern Burma are continuing to close in on Kachin Independence Army (KIA) positions, according to sources from the ethnic armed group.

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Japan’s Defence Minister Tomomi Inada and her Myanmar counterpart, Sein Win, on Wednesday confirmed that the two countries will increase their defence cooperation and exchanges, Japan News reported on 23 September.

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The landmark 21st Century Panglong Union Peace Conference that concluded in Nay Pyi Taw on September 3 was hailed as a major step forward towards ending decades of civil conflict.

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The writing of draft Terms of Reference (ToR) for three different national-level political dialogues has begun as Myanmar’s peace process gets down to nuts and bolts after the largely symbolic 21st-century Panglong Conference concluded earlier this month.

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The Burma Army has increased its military activity in areas controlled by the Palaung State Liberation Front/Ta’ang National Liberation Army (PSLF/TNLA), according to the PSLF/TNLA.

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Government troops claim they have now taken control of the Mae Tha Waw area in Karen State following weeks of intense fighting. The fighting was between the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army and the Burma Army and its militia, the Border Guard Force (BGF).

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Clashes between the Tatmadaw and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army – Kyaw Htet (DKBA-KH) in Karen State have resulted in the displacement of about 4,000 people since early September, state media reported on 21 September.

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Burma Army officers tried to convince displaced ethnic Karen on Thursday to return to their villages, despite continuous daily fighting in Karen State’s Mae Tha Waw area, The Irrawaddy has learned.
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Burma’s Navy Chief Admiral Tin Aung San left for the United States on Monday to attend an international naval meeting at the US Naval War College (NWC) in Rhode Island, becoming the country’s first high-ranking military official to go to the US since sanctions were lifted against Burma last week.

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On the morning of August 31st, I had the honor of attending the opening session of the Union Peace Conference—21st Century Panglong Nay Pyi Taw. As the nation’s top leaders from government, Tatmadaw, parliament and ethnic armed organisations, as well as the UN Secretary-General, each took to the podium, there was an inescapable feeling of being part of an historic moment.

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The Burma Army continuously attacked Kachin Independence Army (KIA) outposts in Kachin State with heavy weapons from 13 to 18 September.

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Following a rare verdict last week holding Tatmadaw soldiers accountable for civilian deaths, the Kachin Baptist Convention is preparing a letter to urge a similar mea culpa in a separate case.

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During State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s first visit to the United States after the National League of Democracy won a historic victory in the 2015 elections, international experts and scholars called on US policymakers to reestablish cooperation between the US military and the Burma Army.

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Deadly clashes are continuing to flare in Hpapun township, Kayin State, three weeks after fighting first broke out. Negotiations between armed factions last week appear to have failed to staunch the fighting.

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In a rare admission of military misconduct, a Tatmadaw court martial has found seven soldiers guilty of murdering Shan villagers during a botched interrogation. After two months of investigation, on September 15 the soldiers from the Northeast Regional Command in Lashio were sentenced to five years in prison with hard labour.

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Nearly 1,000 Karen refugees crowded Wat Miang Yee Kung in Myanmar’s Pha Ang province, opposite Tak’s Phob Phra district, following the Myanmar government’s crackdown on the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) faction led by Colonel San Aung, a source in Karen State revealed yesterday.

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