Military


Myanmar government troops have occupied more than 20 strategic positions held by ethnic Kokang rebels in two months of fierce fighting near the border with China, state media said Tuesday, but a spokesman for the insurgents denied the claim.
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An ethnic armed group conference is to be hosted by the United Wa Solidarity Army (UWSA) at their headquarters on 1-3 May, according to a UWSA spokesperson.
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S.H.A.N. has learnt that forces from the Burma Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) fought with each between Pan-San and Hu-Kwet village in Kyaukme Township in Northern Shan State on 7 April.
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The country needs “good agreements” to come out of talks starting today between the government and opposition, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said yesterday, as she reiterated her refusal to commit her National League for Democracy to taking part in parliamentary elections in November. (more…)

State media has reported that another round of skirmishes in Laukkai on Apr. 8 has claimed the lives of 10 Burma Army soldiers and wounded a further 62, figures disputed by Kokang insurgents in the area. (more…)

With an historic general election just seven months away, Burma’s opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is locked in a high-stakes showdown with a military-backed government that she says isn’t interested in reform. (more…)

Two police officers from an anti-narcotics task force were killed and three wounded when a bomb exploded in a volatile area of northeastern Myanmar near the border with China, a police official said on Monday. (more…)

Earlier last week, the attempt of two Buddhist monks to prosecute those responsible for the violent suppression of peaceful protests at the Letpadaung copper mine were rejected. Despite the international condemnation of security forces’ handling of the protests – in which over 100 people were injured – those who orchestrated the crackdown will not face justice. (more…)

A leader of the ethnic armed groups that comprise the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) has accused the Burmese government of exaggerating the significance of an agreement made last week that was hailed in state media as a “historic” breakthrough in peace negotiations.
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Two hundred and seventy seven servicemen of the Burmese military, including 50 officers, have had action taken against them for recruiting child soldiers, according to Deputy Home Affairs minister Brig-Gen Kyaw Zan Myint.
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As President Thein Sein received a coterie of political leaders and ethnic representatives in Naypyidaw on Wednesday, Commander-in-Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing was conspicuously absent, instead presiding over Navy exercises off the coast of Arakan State.
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The sun is sinking into the Rangoon River, one of lower Burma’s main waterways. It is dotted with small boats on their way to dusky moorings. Arkar Min, 21, rides a water taxi with seven men, all of them silent. They’ve spent the day hauling fish into trucks. Now they rest against one another, backs between knees, arms around shoulders, heads on laps, lulled by the rhythmic thump of the engine. (more…)

Burma’s political heavyweights met in Naypyidaw on Wednesday for the latest summit in a stop-start series of political reform talks. President Thein Sein, military officials, parliamentary representatives, ministers, leader of the opposition Aung San Suu Kyi and other party leaders discussed issues around the peace process, the upcoming elections and ensuring peaceful power transfer to a winning party in the election.
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Last week government and ethnic peace negotiators put pen to paper on a single draft document that could lay the foundation for an historic nationwide ceasefire. Yet fighting continues in northeastern Burma.
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Renewed fighting was reported this week between Burma Army troops and three ethnic armed groups in Kachin and Shan states, less than a week after ethnic negotiators reached a tentative agreement with their government counterparts on the draft text for a nationwide ceasefire accord.
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Discussions on constitutional reform involving leaders from the government, military, Parliament, political opposition and an ethnic minority representative have been scheduled for Friday, according to an ethnic politician who will join the so-called “six-party talks” this week.
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The United States said on Tuesday Myanmar’s failure to amend a military-drafted constitution raised questions about the credibility of reforms, but did not go so far as to say it would undermine the legitimacy of upcoming elections.
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Burma’s ethnic armed groups are considering convening at the headquarters of the powerful United Wa State Army (UWSA) in northern Shan State to discuss the potential signing of a nationwide ceasefire accord, a UWSA representative said on Monday.
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Fighting between government troops and some armed groups appears to have decreased in Burma’s restive north eastern region.
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Deputy Chief of Staff of the Kachin Independence Army Major-General Guan Maw has stressed that Myanmar government and ethnic armed groups should make more efforts to finalize the formal signing of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement which has been preliminarily signed by both peace negotiators, reports Xinhua on April 5.
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