Major Conflict Ongoing in Northern Burma – Reported Military Actions by the Burma Army in Kachin and Northern Shan States April/May 2015

Kachin and Shan States, Northern Burma
16 June 2015

Despite talks of a ceasefire, heavy and escalating fighting has been occurring throughout Northern Burma in the last two months.  This report is a summary of this fighting; a more detailed daily analysis of events is available on request. Because this report uses only FBR reports and not those of other sources, it does not represent a totality of events; actual totals may be much higher. 

This period has seen a major escalation in conflict with heavy fighting occuring in the Kokang region, Northern Shan State, between the Burma Army and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army’s (MNDAA). The Burma Army has increased its troop levels in the region and has engaged in major military operations, including the use of tanks and heavy artillery barrages.

May has also seen a marked escalation in aggression by the Burma Army against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) notionally on the the pretext of stopping illegal logging, but there has been heavy use of artillery and multiple airstrikes.

There has also been an increase in violence between the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and the Burma Army in northern Shan and southern Kachin States.

Our teams alone have reported that in this period:

  • Burma Army soldiers casualties in this period – at least 111 dead, hundreds wounded.

  • Military Engagements – 127.

  • Ethnic soldiers killed / wounded – 10 / 5.

  • Three Burma Army armored vehicles knocked out during fighting in the Kokang region, Northern Shan State.

  • Thousands of troops have been observed actively operating in the region.

  • An attempted rape by Burma Army soldier on the 13th of April.

  • One civilian killed by landmine. In addition, there are reports of the Burma Army laying landmines and ordering civilians to blame ethnic forces.

  • Heavy use of airstrikes by the Burma Army against civilian targets and the Kachin.

  • Muliple cases of Burma Army troops murdering civilians, including a 103-year old woman.

In additon to the casualties sustained in the April/May period during clashes that occurred between the 21st and 28th of March in which the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) defended against attacks by Burma Army troops around Madangyang, Mahtet, Du Hku and 29-Mile and 30-Mile the following senior Burma Army officers are reported to have been killed:

  • Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 317 Commander Lieutenant Colonel San Myu Win

  • Infantry Battalion (IB) 387 Captain Kyaw Moe Naing

  • IB 10 Intelligence Officer Captain Pyi Hpyu Aung

Also, at least 63 other Burma Army soldiers were injured in this period including LIB 415 Commander Lieutenant Colonel Win Zaw Lin, who is reported to have sustained serious injuries.

The assaults were part of a Burma Army operation to secure a route to provide access to Kaihtik from Manje.

Map of the Conflict Zone, Southern Kachin State.

Thank you and God bless.

 The Free Burma Rangers.