FBR Report: Burma 2015 Year-in-review – Multiple Offensives and Broken Ceasefires

31 January 2016
Northern Burma 2015 Conflict Map

This 2015 year-in-review report shows that in spite of talk of peace, throughout 2015 the Burma Army waged multiple military offensives against ethnic groups which have not signed a ceasefire agreement. The Burma Army also shot and killed two Karen people trying to cross a road in KNU controlled territory in Papun District in February and March and in November 2015, the Burma Army shot at Karen villagers trying to cross this same road. The KNU is one of the signatories of the ceasefire. On 31 December 2015 the Burma Army attacked Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army-South (RCSS/SSA-S) troops, also a signatory group to the ceasefire agreement. Burma Army attacks continue as of this report, January 2016. The Burma Army also continues to oppress civilians, support and manage the illicit drug trade and continues to occupy, expand and reinforce their military positions on historically ethnic lands. The continued hostility of the Burma Army must be acknowledged and not glossed over by hope in the ceasefire agreements and elections. These have not been honored before, are not being honored currently, and must be acknowledged as being compromised or outright distractions from the Burma Army’s domination of ethnic peoples. 

In October 2015 Burma finalized the National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). This agreement begins dialogue but with less than half of the ethnic armed groups. This last year also witnessed an election that again confirms the people of Burma’s desire for civilian rule with the NLD as the elected parliament. This report highlights how regardless of the election results and ceasefire accord fighting on the ground has not decreased. In fact, immediately following the ceasefire accord and preceding the elections the Burma Army intensified their troop reinforcements, supply, and attacks against ethnic groups. Please review the 2015 figures below which demonstrate the active nature of Burma’s military campaign. Under those figures is FBR’s December 2015 report which highlights the multiple military fronts in Burma still occurring during the publication of this report. Below the December update are links to reports by FBR which document the military offensives and atrocities committed against the ethnic civilian populations throughout 2015.

2015 Burma Army Clashes with Ethnic Armies

Clashes – 506

Burma Army Troops Moved – 40,615

Burma Army Trucks – 2,053

Burma Army Horses – 470

Burma Army Jet (Attack) –33

Burma Army Jet (Recon) – 33

Burma Army Helo (Attack) – 11

Burma Army Helo (Recon) – 28

Burma Army Killed – 324

Burma Army Wounded – 549

Kachin Independence Army Killed – 26

Kachin Independence Army Injured – 40

Ta’ang National Liberation Front Killed – 1

Ta’ang National Liberation Front Wounded – 4

Kokang Army (MNDAA) Killed – 8

Kokang Army (MNDAA) Wounded – 11

Burma Army Oppression of Civilians

Civilians Killed – 41

Civilians Wounded – 33

Civilians Extorted – 5

Civilians Theft – 109

Civilians Forced Labor – 107

Civilians Property Destroyed – 5

Civilians Tortured – 36

Civilians Raped – 7

Civilians Detainment (without reason) / Abduction – 205

Displacement – 10,500

***The figures above are limited to reports from FBR teams and do not represent the totality of military battles, supply, or human rights abuses perpetrated by the Burma Army.


DECEMBER 2015 UPDATE – Burma Army Offensive against TNLA and Fighting in Arakan State

In the last week of December, on the 27th and 30th, the Burma Army renewed hostilities against Arakan Army groups. The conflict in Arakan State has had intermittent battles throughout 2015. In central Shan State the Burma Army has launched coordinated front against the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in Manton Township. The Burma Army has utilized multiple infantry battalions and Mi35 warplanes against the ethnic troops. This front against the TNLA takes place near RCSS/SSA territory in Shan State. The RCSS is a signatory to the National Ceasefire Agreement, yet on 31 December the Burma Army units assaulted RCSS/SSA troops in Mai Pyin Township. This is the second incidence of the Burma Army betraying a ceasefire signatory, with the first being the killing of Karen villagers in KNU territory in February and March 2015. .


Burma Army clashes with Arakan Army (27-30 December)

At 1230 on 30 December Arakan Army (AA) and a combined group of Burma Army troops from Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 375, 377, 378, 389, 380 and 541 clashed along Ram Hka, east of Shwi Pyi, Chayaut Daw Township in Arakan State.

On 27 December Arakan Army (AA) troops and Burma Army MOC 9 clashed approximately 4 miles from Rangoon-Sitwe road, south-east of Mahamuni temple in Chyaut Daw Township, Arakan (Rakhine) State. At 0800 on 28 December a second clash occurred in the same location.


Ta’ang Offensive

At 1340 on 31 December 2015 Burma Army Infantry Battalion (IB) 278 attacked RCSS/SSA troops at Mai Pu Lung Village in Mai Pyin Township, Eastern Shan State.

On 30 December Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) Battalion 256 and Burma Army troops from Light Infantry Division 77 clashed between Tawng Ma Village and Man Kang Village in Manton Township.

On 29 December approximately 400 RCSS/SSA troops arrived at Maw Byen hill above Mung Wi in Manton Township.

Between 1025 -1130 on 27 December soldiers from TNLA Battalion 687 troops and Burma Army troops under LID 77 clashed between Pan Hka village and Sai Ling village in Manton township.

On 23 December TNLA troops and Panse P.T.Ts (Burma Army’s militia) clashed at Pyi Kim village, Manton Township. During the clash, Panse P.T.Ts stole approximately Kyats-5,000,000 and a gold necklace from villagers’ houses.

At 1850 on 20 December TNLA troops and Burma Army Troops of unknown unit clashed between Dum Hu, Nam Chyang and Bang Hang. At 1900, TNLA troops and Burma Army troops coming from Man Dung clashed at Bang Kanai.

At 1200 on 17 December troops from TNLA Battalion 223 and Burma Army troops under LID 99 clashed between Ga Leng and Pang Law village.

At 1330 on 15 December Burma Army IB 123 and TNLA troops clashed at Bang Jarawp near Nam Hpak Ka in Kuthkai township.

At 0800 on 15 December troops from TNLA Battalions 879 and 919 and Burma Army troops from LID 77 clashed heavily near Hu Tat village. At 1630 a Burma Army helicopter struck at TNLA troops.

Between 0930 -1630 on 14 December Burma Army LID 77 and troops from TNLA Battalion 434 clashed around Htak Jet Bum, Manton Township. At 1630 two Burma Army Mi35 warplanes bombarded TNLA troops.


MILITARY OFFENSIVES Against Ethnic Groups (Prior to December 2015)

SSPP/SSA – http://www.freeburmarangers.org/2015/12/14/fbr-report-octobernovember-update-burma-army-offensives-against-kia-no-8-brigade-hq-and-ssppssa-hq/

Kachin No. 8 Brigade Headquarters – http://www.freeburmarangers.org/2015/12/14/fbr-report-octobernovember-update-burma-army-offensives-against-kia-no-8-brigade-hq-and-ssppssa-hq/

Mali Yang – http://www.freeburmarangers.org/2015/07/22/june-update-mali-yang-offensive-continues/



Kokang Offensive – http://www.freeburmarangers.org/2015/03/19/four-civilians-killed-when-burma-army-drops-bomb-across-the-chinese-border/



CORRUPTION (Drug Trade, Timber Trade)

Burma Army controls Narcotic Trade – http://www.freeburmarangers.org/2015/02/24/opium-and-ongoing-attacks-by-the-burma-army-in-kachin-and-shan-states-burma/

Drug stash found at Burma Army post – http://www.freeburmarangers.org/2015/05/05/two-civilians-killed-and-another-seriously-injured-by-burma-army-in-three-separate-incidents-large-drugs-haul-recovered-from-burma-army-position/

Burma Army attempts to control Timber Trade – http://www.freeburmarangers.org/2015/04/28/burma-air-force-destroys-timber-trucks-in-order-to-gain-timber-monopoly-in-kachin-state/


HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES (Civilian Oppression)

Rape and Murder of Teachers – http://www.freeburmarangers.org/2015/01/22/burma-army-rapes-and-kills-two-kachin-girls-and-attacks-multiple-villages-in-kachin-state/

Torture and Murder of seven villagers – http://www.freeburmarangers.org/2015/02/04/seven-villagers-tortured-and-killed-by-burma-army/

Mother murdered – http://www.freeburmarangers.org/2015/04/23/summary-report-of-burma-army-activities-in-northern-burma-1-3132105/

Use of Airstrikes (Against military and civilians) – http://www.freeburmarangers.org/2015/04/01/civilians-murdered-and-widespread-use-of-air-strikes-despite-high-level-meetings/


Burma Army Military Campaign Kills civilians across Chinese border – http://www.freeburmarangers.org/2015/03/19/four-civilians-killed-when-burma-army-drops-bomb-across-the-chinese-border/

Villagers being starved/raped/tortured – http://www.freeburmarangers.org/2015/05/20/villagers-being-deliberately-starved-regularly-beaten-raped-or-murdered-situation-report-on-western-burma-january-april-2015/


Burma Army Attacks in Karen State and Arakan State http://www.freeburmarangers.org/2015/11/02/update-on-burma-activity-in-karen-state-burma/