FBR Report: October/November Update – Burma Army Offensives Against KIA No. 8 Brigade Headquarters and SSPP/SSA Headquarters15 December 2015 Kachin State and Shan State, Burma
Burma Army intensifies attacks against ethnics in spite of elections.
During October and November 2015 the Burma Army increased their attacks against the Shan, Ta’ang Kokang and Kachin peoples, displacing 10,000 people in Kachin State and Northern Shan State, Burma. In spite of elections and talks of ceasefires, the Burma Army troop presence, reinforcements, and resupply in Kachin and Northern Shan States has risen to levels not seen since the Burma Army broke the 17-year ceasefire agreement with Kachin State in 2011. Similar to the 2011 offensive, the Burma Army has employed helicopter gunships and fighter jets to target ethnic resistance groups. This heightened aggression came both prior to and after the November elections and indicates a desire by the Burma Army and Burma government to gain complete control over the ethnic peoples. And it terms of the transition to democracy, General Min Aung Hlaing, commander of the Burma Army, was recently quoted by the editor of Network Myanmar as saying : “We must change gradually. Right now we are not ready for change”.
Attacks: In October, the Burma Army conducted a large-scale ground offensive against the Shan and especially against the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) Headquarters in Wan Hai, Northern Shan State. Intermittent clashes in the Wan Hai, Mong Hsu, area continued throughout October and November displacing over 10,000 villagers. In Mid-November the Burma Army launched a coordinated ground and air campaign against Kachin Independence Army (KIA) 8th Brigade Headquarters in Mohnyin Township, Kachin Township. In November the Burma army also launched attacks against the Ta’ang and Kokang people of Northern Shan State.
In This Report:
- Summary of Clashes in Kachin and Shan States
- Human rights abuses against civilians
- Extortion, forced labor and harassment of civilians
- Burma Army deployments and resupply
Kachin State and Northern Shan State, Burma
- Clashes (between Burma Army and ethnic resistance groups) – 92
- Burma Army Troop Movement – 9774
- Burma Army Helicopter (Attack) – 8
- Burma Army Helicopter (Recon) – 12
- Burma Army Fighter Jet (Attack) – 6
- Burma Army Fighter Jet (Recon) – 11
- Burma Army Killed – 4
- Burma Army Wounded – 21
- Kachin Independence Army Killed – 8
- Kachin Independence Army Wounded – 7
- Civilian Killed – 3
- Civilian Wounded – 7 (1 reported by FBR, 6 reported by local Shan)
- Civilians Arbitrarily Detained or Abducted (No reason given to the person for their arrest and detainment) – 32
- Civilian Tortured – 3
- Civilians Displaced – 10,000 (Reported by FBR and local Shan CBOs)
- Burma Army Trucks (Troop movement and Supply) – 477
- Burma Army Horses (Supply) – 70
During October 2015 the Burma Army significantly increased their troop presence, reinforcements, and resupply in Kachin and Northern Shan States to levels not seen since the Burma Army broke the 17-year ceasefire agreement with Kachin State in 2011. Similar to the 2011 offensive, the Burma Army has employed helicopter gunships and fighter jets to target ethnic resistance groups. This heightened aggression came both prior to and after the November elections and indicates an unwillingness by the Burma Army and Burma government to employ peaceful initiatives toward reconciliation post-election.
In October the Burma Army conducted a large-scale ground offensive against Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) Headquarters in Wan Hai, Northern Shan State. Intermittent clashes in the area continued throughout November. In Mid-November the Burma Army launched a coordinated ground and air campaign against Kachin Independence Army (KIA) 8th Brigade Headquarters in Mohnyin Township, Kachin Township. The list below of participating Burma Army units highlights the scale of this campaign.
Burma Army UNITs assaulting KIA no. 8 Brigade Headquarters
- Infantry Battalion (IB) 15 and Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 521 under the direct command of Northern Command
- LIB 381, 385, 386, and 388 under direct command of Military Operations Command (MOC) 3
- Three Battalions under Tactical Operations Command (TOC) North Western Command
- Three Battalions under TOC, South Western Command
- Armour Battalion under 904h Artillery Operations Command (AOC)
- No. 7005 Tank Battalion
- Nam Paung Air Force, Myitkyina
BURMA ARMY OFFENSIVE AGAINST KIA NO. 8 BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS
At 0600 on 28 November an estimated 70 Burma Army troops arrived at the foot of Hka Len Bum Hill to reinforce Burma Army troops. At 1200 one Burma Army fighter jet flew over No. 8 Brigade Headquarters three times.
At 1520 on 25 November Burma army troops of an unknown unit were advancing through Nba Ban farm at the foot of Mohnyin Hill near No. 8 Brigade area when they clashed with KIA militiamen.
At 1600 on 21 November two Burma Army fighter jets struck Ding Nyin Tu Kawng base under No. 8 Brigade command.
At 1445 on 19 November two Burma Army fighter jets conducted two fly-overs over Hu Pin where soldiers from KIA no. 8 Brigade stay.
At 0900 on 19 November Burma Army troops fired 120mm mortars and more than 50 tank rounds toward KIA No. 8 Brigade Headquarters, resulting in the KIA decamping. During 1200-1500 an unknown unit of Burma Army troops clashed at Nawng Hkyi in Mohnyin Township.
At 0700 on 19 November a Burma Army tank unit fired 70 120mm mortar shells from Mohnyin Nam Puk Buddhist temple toward KIA No. 8 Brigade Headquarters.
Between 1415-1500 on 18 November Burma Army IB 15 and LIB 381, 386, 388 attacked KIA No. 8 Brigade Headquarters.
At 1600 on 16 November the Burma Army attacked KIA Woi Kang Post near Se Zin with bombs from one Mi29 Fighter Jet.
At 1410 two Mi29 Fighter Jets struck again around KIA no. 8 Headquarters.
At 1345 on 16 November the Burma Army used one Mi29 Fighter Jet and two Mi35 Helicopters to support ground attacks around KIA no. 8 Headquarters.
On 16 November a 50 year old monk was wounded by shrapnel from a bomb dropped by a Burma Army fighter jet at Gawng Ngu Kawng, Hka Len Bum hill in KIA 8. Brigade.
From 1600-1735 on 15 November Burma Army troops from IB 15 began maneuvers to assault KIA No. 8 Brigade Headquarters. The Burma Army troops, supported by 120mm mortar fire from Nyaung Kai Base, moved toward KIA training grounds approximately 300 meters away from KIA no. 8 Headquarters. The initial clash between Burma Army troops and KIA defenses left 3 KIA soldiers and 7 Burma Army soldiers wounded. The clash rusumed at 1750 and lasted until 2000. At 2000 approximately 120 Burma Army troops from LIB 381, 385, and 388, as well as six resupply trucks arrived at Loi Yang Bum hill to reinforce IB 15 troops outside of KIA no. 8 Brigade Headquarters.
Between 1200-1430 on 15 November Burma Army IB 15 attacked Du Hku Pyaw Len Post near KIA No. 8 Brigade Headquarters. The KIA were forced to abandon the post as a result of the attack.
On 14 November Burma Army IB 63 attacked KIA Tayet Maw Post, Nam Hkyi Maw Village, Mohnyin Township, leaving one KIA soldier dead.
BURMA ARMY OFFENSIVE AGAINST SSPP/SSA HEADQUARTERES
At 0700 on 23 November KIA units reported three separate clashes between Wan Hai and Mai Shio as Burma Army troops moved to attack SSPP/SSA headquarters. Burma Army supported their troops with 60mm mortar fire and targeted SSPP/SSA headquarters also.
October Main Offensive
Between 0900-1200 on 23 October Burma Army troops fired 105mm howitzer artillery from Nam Mun Base and 120mm artillery from Chyu Hkau Base near Wan Hai toward SSPP/SSA HQ territory, Northern Shan State. Two Shan civilians were killed by shrapnel from the artillery. Burma Army LIB 523 and troops from MOC 2 and 17 occupied the Burma Army bases during this time.
Burma Army LID 99 Front against SSPP/SSA HQ
At 0800 on 22 October Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion (LID) 99 clashed with Kachin Independence Army (KIA) Battalions 9, 29 and 39 at Wa Yaw Bum hill on the outskirts of Hu Hpyek village in Kuthkai township, Northern Shan State.
At 0930 on 21 October Burma Army troops from LID 99 attacked a KIA 4th Brigade position on Wa Yaw Bum hill above Hu Hpyek Man Bung in Kuthkai Township, Northern Shan State. At 1400 KIA troops counter-attacked, followed by two Burma Army helicopters being called in to support the Burma Army troops. At 1522 Burma Army troops withdrew from the attack and returned to Lashio.
Burma Army MOC 2 & 17 Front against SSPP/SSA HQ
At 1800 on 22 October an estimated 300 Burma Army MOC 2 and 17 were reinforced by an estimated 300 troops in 34 military trucks from Mai Nau.
At 0745 on 22 October Burma Army troops from MOC 2 and 17 clashed with SSPP/SSA troops around Nam Pung Kawng Mu, 18 miles from Wan Hai base.
Between 1400-1600 on 21 October the combined forces of Burma Army MOC 2 and 17 clashed with SSPP/SSA troops at Loi Kan Bum, east of SSPP/SSA Wan Hai HQ. At 1430, SSPP/SSA decamped from their post in Loi Kan.
On 17 October Burma Army troops from an unknown unit clashed with SSPP/SSA troops between Mai Et and Wan Loi, 7 miles from Wang Hai SSPP/SSA Headquarters. The Burma Army troops were supported by 120mm artillery from Burma Army Chyu Maut Hkawng Base.
Between 1400-1530 on 11 October Burma Army troops from LID 22 launch an offensive against Mawng Hpyit Post near Wang Hai. Between 1430-1700 Burma Army troops fired 30 mortar rounds around Wang Hai where SSA/SSPP is headquartered.
At 0830 on 6 October LIB 117 arrived between Wang Hai and Mai Nawng and clashed with troops from SSA/SSPP in Chye Ti Township in Southern Shan State.
Elsewhere, at the same time, LIB 520 conducted ground assaults on Nawng He Post where SSA/SSPP soldiers were positioned between Mai Chu and Mai Ja in Mai Che Township, Southern Shan State.
BURMA ARMY HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES AGAINST CIVILIANS
A 45 year old man named Nboi Zau Nan from Sumpyi Yang Village was beaten and tortured by troops from Burma Army LIB 381, 385 and 389 at 1200 on 21 July. Nboi Zau Nan died at 0500 on 10 October in Sumpra Bum Township.
The body of Ung Sau Tu (aged 30) from Lamawng Quarter, Kamaing Village was killed by Burma Army IB 250 on June 10, 2015. His body was found buried behind the back of IB 250 base and was disinterred by Burma Army LIB 424 policemen and village council at 1330 on 5 October, Hpakant Township.
EXTORTION / FORCED LABOR / HARRASSEMENT of CIVILIANS BY BURMA ARMY
On 27 October Burma Army troops conducted body and vehicle searches of all vehicle and motorcycle drivers and passengers going from Nam Hpak Ka main road in Kuthkai Township.
On 22 October Burma Army troops from Infantry Battalion (IB) 15 erected a checkpoint in front of a Buddhist temple and demanded money from trucks passing near by in Nam Puk Village, Mohnyin Township.
From the 16th of October onward the Burma Army imposed a 9pm curfew within Lamung, Makaw, Panep, Shinglung, Laja Bum, Tarung, and Nawng Lung Kawng Ra Villages. If any person is outside after 9pm they will be shot to death.
On 9 October Burma Army IB 102 and LIB 336 arrived at Ga Ra Yang and confiscated all civilian phones and carried out invasive searches of civilians going to and from the village.
At 0100 on 8 October 5 civilians from Hpai Kawng were forced to porter supplies for and estimated 120 troops of an unknown Burma Army unit. The civilians were later released from Bang Sai Village in Muse Township.
On 5 October Burma Army LID 99 forced villages from Htingra Hkyet, Kyi La Pa, Bang Hkawng and Loi Kang, Muse Township, to porter rice sacks and food rations.
On 2 October an estimated 150 Burma Army troops from LIB 107 arrived at Na Hka and Hpa Hpyin in Manton Township and forced civilian residents to porter rice sacks and other rations.
BURMA ARMY TROOP DEPLOYMENT and RESUPPLY
On 27 October Burma Army Light Infantry Division (LID) 99 deployed approximately 70 troops to Nam Hwi, 70 troops to Ja Jai Yang, 70 troops to Hka San, 70 troops to Hu Hpyek, 70 troops to Kung Sa Bum, 70 troops to Hu Bang, 70 troops to Bang Gai Ja Maw, 70 troops toDi Ma Nawng Mi and 70 troops to Dak Nai in Kuthkai Township.
At 1930 on 25 Octover 300 Burma Army troops were traveling by train and stopped at Maw Han. At 0630 on 26 October they headed to Nam Hkyi Maw in Mohnyin Township, Kachin State.
At 1400 on 21 October a total of 74 Burma Army military trucks from lower division carried food rations and ammo through Mohnyin, Kachin State, and at 1430 the same day another 70 military trucks full of Burma Army troops traveled through Mawhan.
On 17 October and estimated 500 Burma Army troops traveling from Taik Ti arrived at Hkaman Ti.
On 9 October and estimated 500 Burma Army troops arrived at Na Hpai, Kawng Ra, Nam Hai, Hu Hpyet, Dak Nai and Dima in Kuthkai Township.
BURMA ARMY CLASHES WITH ETHNIC RESISTANCE ARMIES
Between 0600-1730 on 30 November Burma Army troops from LIB 421 attacked Ja Ra Yang post leaving two KIA soldiers dead in Hpakant Township.
Between 0930-1030 on 29 November Burma Army IB 290 clashed with KIA soldiers during a KIA drug eradication operation between Mung Htam and Kawng Ra, Kuthkai Township. At 1320 two Burma Army Mi35 helicopters arrived and fired at KIA troops for 15 minutes.
At 0930 on 21 October Burma Army LID 99 attacked Kachin Independence Army (KIA) 4th Brigade soldiers positioned on a hill above Hu Hpyek Man Bung in Kuthkai Township, Northern Shan State.
At 1500 on 21 October another section of Burma Army LID 99 attacked KIA soldiers around Wa Yaw, Northern Shan State. The Burma Army had supporting fire from 2 helicopters.
Between 1600-1700 on 19 October Burma Army LIB 419 clashed with KIA soldiers at the edge of Kawng Jung Bum, Muse Township. One Burma Army mortar shell landed in front of a Mr. Yaw, Hu Hpyet Village and another two shells landed in the village football field. Burma Army troops also fired a shoulder fired rocket at the village church. There were no casualties.
At 1815 on 11 October Burma Army Infantry Battalion 12 located in the KBC Church compound, Nam Lim Pa Village fired 60mm mortars toward head of the village at KIA soldiers, Mansi Township.
At 1600 on 6 October Burma Army troops of unknown unit launched an attack against Man Kawng Bum Base where KIA 36 Battalion is headquartered in Muse Township, Kachin Sub-State.
On 5 October Burma Army IB 121 occupying Nam Lim Pa Village fired 3 60mm mortar rounds toward the head of Nam Lim Pa Village at KIA troops, Mansi Township.
Between 2030-2110 on 3 October Burma Army troops occupying Laika Jawng Kawng Village fired 10 mortar rounds and 30 45mm grenade launcher rounds toward Lahtaw Bum and Laika farm field in Mansi Township.