Fresh fighting in northeast Burma raises concern among ceasefire groups

Fresh fighting in northeast Burma raises concern among ceasefire groups

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) has reported clashes with government forces near their Laiza headquarters.

A KIA official told DVB that a militia unit stationed at the abandoned village of Ja Ing Yang, two-hours from Laiza, engaged in fire-fight with Burmese Army units patrolling the area on 10 February. The official confirmed that there had been no casualties on either side.

The news comes amidst further reports of clashes in Mansi Township, where the KIA’s 3rd Brigade is active.

The official expressed concerns that continued violence could impact peace-making efforts, as fighting resumed in the region while ceasefire talks remain underway.

Meanwhile, the Ta’ang (Palaung) National Liberation Army (TNLA) has also reported clashes with the Burmese Army in neighbouring Shan State. The TNLA says that violent outbreaks occur almost daily.

The TNLA’s Information Officer Capt Aik Kyaw said the group has seen at least 16 offensives this year by Burmese government troops against its positions across Kyaukme district’s Manton and Namhsan townships in northern Shan State.

“There are five Burmese Army battalions active in the region and they have frequently clashed with our troops” Capt Aik Kyaw said.

16 major ethnic armed groups signed their agreement on a draft ceasefire framework at Karen National Union (KNU) headquarters in Lawkheela last month. Mutu Say Poe, KNU leader and deputy-chairman of the Union Nationalities Federal Council — the ethnic armed umbrella group responsible for the draft pact — warned that continued fighting may delay the long-awaited nationwide ceasefire.

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