Burma Army mobilizes in Northern Shan State

Tu Ja / June 18, 2020

Loi Sam Sip, Northern Shan State / Saisanmyint

A combine force of estimated 2,500 troops from Burma Army’s Light Infantry Division (LID) 99 and 88 have been mobilizing in Burma’s northern Shan State, starting to engage fighting with troops from Kachin Independence Army (KIA)’s front line posts.

A skirmish had taken place on yesterday morning at the Nawng Hpan and Nawng Mau area near the Nam Hpat Kar town of Kutkai Township, according to the local sources closed to KIA. The incident location is closed to KIA’s battalion 8 under the 4th Brigade. Both side engaged fighting due to the Burma Army encroachment near KIA’s controlled area.

Since the first week of June, Burma Army troops engaged fighting against KIA troops from battalion 17 of Brigade 10th and battalion 9 of Brigade 6th. Burma Army reportedly suffered minor casualties during the clashes, according to the source.

On May 9, Burma Army announced its unilateral ceasefire against all the ethnic armed organization from May 10 to end of August 2020. However, the ceasefire is not applied to the area where Arakan Army’s (AA) mobilizing areas as the AA was declared as an terrorist organization. Some of KIA’s controlled areas have been an launching and training ground for AA since the organization was established.

Since last May, several skirmishes have happened between Burma Army and KIA, Ta-ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in northern Shan State. AA, KIA, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army(MNDAA) and TNLA are allied members under the banner of Northern Alliance-Burma and they all are not the signatory members of Burmese government sponsored Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA).