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Humanitarian costs mount in northern Shan State fighting; US sanctions MOGE

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Humanitarian costs mount in northern Shan State fighting

Nine civilians, including two children, have been killed and nine others injured in northern Shan State since the Brotherhood Alliance launched its offensive on Oct. 27, states the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). 

Over 6,200 people have been displaced from their homes in northern Shan State and have sought refuge in nearby forests and temples. Hundreds of refugees have reportedly crossed the border into China to escape the fighting, according to UNOCHA. 

“While the exact number of the newly displaced people are difficult to verify, the displaced are expected to further increase, stretching the already under-funded humanitarian response in Myanmar,” added UNOCHA. 

The Burma Army has also restricted access into Lashio, the largest town in northern Shan State. The Brotherhood Alliance is the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Arakan Army (AA), and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA).

Chinese security official meets with regime

The regime’s Minister for Home Affairs Yar Pyae met with Chinese State Minister of Public Security Wang Xiaohong in Naypyidaw on Oct. 30, regime media reported. “Peace and tranquility in border areas of the two countries” was reportedly discussed as fighting between the military and anti-coup resistance forces continued in northern Shan State, along the China-Burma border. 

Pro-military militias have been accused of harboring cyber crime syndicates along Burma’s borders with China and Thailand. Regime spokesperson Zaw Min Tun denied the regime’s involvement and blamed ethnic armed groups. 

Zaw Min Tun added that the military requires access to Wa State and Mongla in order to combat criminal operations based there. These territories are located along the China-Burma border and are controlled by the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA). 

US sanctions MOGE

The U.S. Department of Treasury sanctioned the Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) on Oct. 31. Americans will be prohibited from providing certain financial services to the regime-owned energy company starting on Dec. 15. 

MOGE generates much of the military’s foreign currency reserves and was sanctioned by the E.U. on Feb. 21, 2022. Three entities and five individuals close to the military were also sanctioned under the Treasury Department’s directive. The U.K. and Canada also imposed coordinated sanctions against military arms dealers and financiers. 

News by Region

Chin forces have fought to control Thantlang since September 2021 (Credit: Tial Hram Ling)

CHIN—The Chin National Front (CNF/CNA) dismissed a regime media report on Oct. 30 claiming that the Burma Army had regained control of Thatlang. The report stated that regime forces seized the town after a 90-day counter-terrorism operation against the CNF and Chinland Defense Forces (CDF).

Salai Htet Ni, the CNF spokesperson, said that no fighting occurred in Thantlang over the last few weeks. “This is propaganda from the military regime. There is no ongoing fighting in town,” he told Khonumthung News. The CNF warned that it would launch more counter-offensives. 

BAGO—The Karen National Union (KNU) warned civil servants and pro-military groups in Kyaukkyi and Natthankwin townships to cease their cooperation with the military or else it would “not be held responsible for the consequences.” 

Around 2,500 residents from villages in Mone Township have been displaced from their homes due to fighting. The KNU is requesting emergency assistance for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). 

KACHIN—The Kachin Independence Army (KIA/KIO) seized the Gundauyang hilltop military outpost, located on the Myitkyina-Bhamo highway, in Waingmaw Township on Oct. 31. 

“We seized the outpost after three hours of fighting,” said an unnamed source in the KIA. It also launched a simultaneous assault on the Maliyang outpost. 

MON—Two homes in Durinseik village of Thaton Township were sealed shut on Oct. 29. “The houses were empty as the occupants fled a long time ago,” said a Durinseik resident. 

The residents of the homes had been charged with incitement but had already fled. At least 100 homes in Mon State have been sealed shut after the 2021 military coup. 

SHAN—The Pa-O Youth Organization (PYO) has called for the closure of a steel mill in Taunggyi Township on Oct. 30. The No. 2 Steel Mill (Pangpet) was suspended in 2017 after environmental concerns were raised. 

“The areas that will suffer the negative effects of the steel project will be the entire Hopong plain. At least 100 villages relied on Nantabet creek for agriculture, drinking water and livestock,” said Ma Nang, a PYO spokesperson. Naypyidaw has been attempting to restart the project since 2021.

SAGAING—Five civilians, including a child, were injured when an artillery shell landed in a village, located in Monywa Township, on Oct. 29. “A heavy shell dropped on a house, injuring five family members. It caused massive destruction as it happened while they were sleeping,” a local told DVB. Two of the five were seriously injured. 

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