Attacks Against the Kachin, Shan and Ta’ang Escalate as Peace Talks Near
29 August, 2016, Northern Burma
The conflict in Kachin state continues to escalate in Kachin State and Northern Shan State. Clashes and infantry assaults backed by mortar attacks are now a daily occurrence, and civilians are frequently caught in the crossfire. Burma Army soldiers backed by local militias, tanks, and aircraft have continued to strike areas heavily populated by civilians in an attempt to root out ethnic forces. Lack of transparency and accountability also remains an issue and has led to fifteen separate human rights abuses instances, including ten that related to arrests, torture, and shootings. Kachin, Shan and Ta’ang Free Burma Ranger teams have also noted an increase in extortion cases, random roadside checks, and property destruction by Burma Army soldiers and related groups. Additionally the report details several incidents of indiscriminate shelling of villages containing civilians, and Burma Army troop movements into Kachin and Northern Shan State.
With the upcoming “21st Century Panglong Conference” now days away, it is the hope of the Free Burma Rangers that the information detailed in this report will provide an adequate context from which negotiators on both the Burma Government and the Ethnic Organizations can ascertain a more comprehensive and fruitful agreement which benefits lives on both sides.
Attacks Near Laiza: Rangers have noted an increase in mortar and artillery attacks near Kachin Independence Army (KIA) positions near Laiza. Please also see reports from the news network Mizzima in a recent August 19th article.
Human Rights Abuses – Extortion: A number of human rights abuse cases occurred in July and August. Five out of the fifteen of these incidents revolved around extortion, particularly with regard to charging local business owners fees for property/equipment that they already owned. Whether or not these activities were officially ordered by the Burmese government or military is not known to FBR, their repeated occurrence without any government investigation should be noted as troubling.
Human Rights Abuses – Arrests, Torture, and Killings: Among the human rights abuse data listed below, ten out of the fifteen points concerned arbitrary arrests, beatings, torture, and the use of firearms in order to capture suspects. None of the instances involved court proceedings, lawyers or other elements of civil law. The soldiers and militia members involved in beatings or torture have also not been held accountable for their actions.
Red Shan Activity: A new Red Shan militia has been recently spotted working with the Burma Army. On August 3rd, combined troops under the command of MOC (3) and the Red Shan P.T.Ts (the Burmese Army allied Red Shan militia) clashed with KIA soldiers from No.14 Battalion at Lamung Tu . The combined forces were backed by six tanks commanded by the Burmese Army. The Red Shan have also participated in human rights abuses: working alongside Burmese Army soldiers in the arbitrary arrest of civilians and the torture of suspected enemy collaborators. On the 22nd of August the Red Shan P.T.Ts, a local militia, accompanied the Burma Army to a meeting where several mine-owners were extorted.
Tanks: For the first time in several months tanks were used for fire support by the Burma Army against Kachin Independence Army (KIA) positions. The incident occurred on August 3rd at 1150: six tanks from Yuzana Company arrived at Ja Wang and provided supported fire between 1055-1210, Danai township.
Drones (UAV’s): For the first time, FBR reports that Burma Army drones have been seen over KIA positions in Northern Shan state. While these vehicles have not been armed, the new low-risk surveillance capability ascertained by the Burma Army should be noted as a possible shift in the paradigm that exists in the Northern Burma conflict; as well as other conflicts throughout Burma.
Number of Clashes: 32
Number of Mortar and Artillery Strikes: 43
Human Rights Abuses: 15
Instances Involving Tanks: 1
Instances Involving Aircraft: 2
Known Recent IDPs: >2,000
Collected Human Rights Abuse Data
13 July: Burma Army troops from IB (102) came to a house a Mr. U Awng Oo and U La Baw and allegedly took MMKs 7,000,000 worth of rubies and MMKs 50,000,000 worth of jade.
1500 on 26 Jul: KIA L/Coprl Lahpai Seng Awng from Nam Mahpyit village was taken by Burmese Policemen while he was eating at Uru Kan Ta restaurant in Hpakant township.
At 1100 on 29 July: Four men – Hpakawn La Nu and one guy (name unknown) from Ma U Pin village, Lum Hkawng from Gauri village and La Awng from Nam Ya village, were arrested at Ma U Pin bridge and severely tortured by Burma Army troops. Hpakawn La Nu and his friend (name unknown) later escaped. Awng Lum and Hkawng Lum have been kept in Kamaing Byuha Base in Hpakant township. The four were arrested after the Red Shan P.t.t.’s (Burma Army-allied militia) informed the Burma Army that the four individuals were carrying 350 bullets in their motorcycle-tool boxes. Awng and Lum have been kept in Kamaing Byuha Base in Hpakant township. The parents of arrested the arrested came to meet their sons on 1 Aug, bu the Commander, Lt. Col. Kyaw Swa Mint, would not allow them to meet.
1000 on 1 Aug: Three civilians out of a party of five going to Myitkyina from Laiza were arrested at Nam San Zi Kahtawng. The other two were later arrested at Gang Dau Yang village by Burma Army LIB (384) in Waingmaw township.
1300 on 1 Aug: Mr. Hpaujung La Seng, Mr. Ja Naw, clerk Nam Shu and a Kachin Indepedence Organization (KIO) Administration Department driver Jat Awng, were arrested at Sharaw Hka, by LIB (424) in Hpakant township.
1030 on 2 Aug: One civilian (unknown name) was arrested and tied and beaten by LIB (424) stations at Ma U Pin bridge.
3 Aug: Burma Army troops under the command of LID (99) came to the house of Mr. Hawng Hkawng and killed one of his pigs in Man Jak Loi Mawk village, Mungji township, northern Shan State.
5 Aug: The combined strength of several Burma Army troops and armed policemen came to and surrounded the house of Mr .Hpaujung La Seng. While La Seng was not present, civilians Namsu Zau Nan and Pvt. Latau Tu Nan who were present in the house were taken.
7 Aug: Burma Army LIB (438) arrested local cattle-traders and seized over 100 heads of cattle in Man Wing Gyi in Mansi township.
1100 on 8 Aug: Civilian Mr. Lasham Naw Ja from Man Den village was beaten and tortured by Red Shan and Burma Army soldiers in Danai township.
8 Aug: Mr. Htung was arrested and tortured after being suspected of being connected with the KIA by Burma Army troops. He was released at 1530 on 11 Aug in Hpakant township.
0100 on 21 Aug: Border Guard Force (BGF) personnel stationed at Dum Bang Bridge above Lahpai village stopped a cow-carried truck of a Mr. Htun heading to Kanpaiti. The truck did not stop and BGF personnel fired on the truck, killing 2 cows.
1400 on 22 Aug: the Burma Army troops led by LIB (426) Commander Tin Myo Tun and Capt. Min Hing, including Red Shan P.T.Ts leader Myo Min Tun called upon mining owners from Sabaw Maw, Wa Pu Maw and Sani Maw to Sabaw Maw for a meeting. In the meeting the three commanders demanded that the local mining operators pay Ks-400,000 for each 1 backhoe used for mining in Hpakant township in KIA No.6 Battalion.
0630 on 25 Aug: An estimated 30 Burma Army troops under the command of MOC (3) carried out checks on civilians going to and from Maran Kahtawng village in Mogoung township in KIA No.2 Brigade.
22 Aug: the two men named Zumzang Awng and Pali La Awng from Ma U Pin village were stopped by Burma Army troops while traveling to their home from their farm fields. Zumzang Awng ran away and escaped, but was shot-at five times. Pali La Awng was taken into custody by the Burma Army in Hpakant township, western Kachin State.
26 June – 2 July (Indiscriminate Shelling and Clashes)
2245 on 2 July: Burma Army fired two 81mm shells from Hka Ya Bum that; one landed at Tsin Yu Bum, close to Arakan Base and one landed at KIA old post near Laiza.
0550 on 1 July: A clash began after Burma Army troops from Light Infantry Brigade (LIB) (382) and Infantry Brigade (IB) (51) advanced towards KIA soldiers based at Lazing Kawng. Both forces were supported by mortar fire.
30 June: A KIA militiaman by the name of Gun Li was shot during a chance encounter with the Burma Army troops on the road. He tried to run back his post, but his injury worsened and died later at the outskirts of Man Pin village in Kuthkai township, KIA No.4 Brigade.
1130 on 29 June: Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) troops and Burma Army troops clashed at Bang Kabyen Na Law village in Manton township in KIA No.34 Battalion under No.4 Brigade.
3 – 9 July
Detailed in this report (12 July, 2016)
10 – 16 July (Shelling, Clashes, Landmines, Human Rights Abuses, and Jet Fighters)
No. 2 Brigade
Between 1350-1600 on 14 July, a clash broke out when KIA’s militiamen defended their position from an attack by Burma Army troops (LIB 421, 427) moving to areas above Ja Ra Yang. The fighting resumed at between 1735-1825 hours in Hpakant township in KIA No.6 Battalion area.
1350-1930 on 14 July: KIA militiamen clashed with a combined force of Burma Army troops from IB (102) and LIB (427) at point .755 between Ja Ra Yang and Hka Tang Bum. The attack left one Capt., one Sergt., one Corpl., and two privates from Burma Army seriously injured.
0730-0745 on 13 July: estimated around 100 Burma Army troop from LIB (425, 426) trampled an old landmine as they were moving to an old KIA post near Ja Ra Yang village. After noting their casualties they reacted by firing 8 RPG shells and rifles to all directions in Hpakant township.
1445-1505 on 13 July: A jet fighter from Myitkyina flew over Mali Nmai Zup, Nmai Hka river along Gwi Htu and Nawng Hkying in Mogoung township in KIA No.11 Battalion area.
No. 3 Brigade
1030 on 13 July: Burma Army IB (142) fired a 81mm shell toward Jan Mai Hkyet from Yaw Yung in Momauk township in KIA No.15 Battalion.
No. 5 Brigade
1740 on 11 July: Burma Army troops position at Dum Bang Bum fired three 82mm shells toward Pau Se village.
No. 6 Brigade
14 July: An estimated 40 Burma Army troops conducted a surprise attack on KIA forces while soldiers from the No.36 Battalion conducted a meeting concerning drug eradication efforts at Wa Mu village.
1300 on 14 July: A combined force of soldiers from the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the Arakan Army (AA) clashed with the Burma Army between Dawn Ja Jai and Hey Ja Jai village. At 1330, the troop reinforcements of Burma Army led by Operation Commander were deployed to the site of the clash.
No. 4 Brigade
Between 0800-0915 hours on 10 July, TNLA troops and Burma Army troops clashed at between Man Mawk village and Pang Swi village.
17 – 23 July (Indiscriminate Shelling and Clashes)
No. 3 Brigade
1200 on 18 July: As KIA soldiers came to check Zai Bru Yang (LG 175 323), they saw estimated 50 Burma Army troops encamped nearby. Gun fire from both sides lasted more than 10 minutes, leaving two Burma Army soldiers wounded in Mansi township in KIA No.12 Battalion area, No. 3 Brigade.
2020 on 18 July, IB (382) stationed at Lai Lum Awng fired three 60mm shells and two 60mm shells from Dum Bang Bum position toward around Nbu Kawng.
24 – 30 July (Helicopter Sightings, Human Rights Abuses, Mortar Strikes, and Clashes)
No. 5 Brigade
0900-0930 hours on 26 July: A helicopter from Nam Pawng Air Base flew over Mayan village in Mogoung township. Another helicopter later flew over the north-east regions of the Mali Hka river at 1040 and went back Myitkyina at 1055.
No. 4 Brigade
At 1255 on 28 Jul, KIA troops and BA troops under the command of MOC (16) clashed at Hu Bung Bum hill (MG 154 050). BA supported firing mortars from Ta Nu Nye and deployed more troop reinforcements. KIA had to decamp their station, in Kuthkai township in KIA No.2 Battalion under No.4 Brigade, northern Shan State.
31 July – 6 August (Human Rights Abuses, Tanks, Mortar Strikes, Clashes)
No. 5 Brigade
1000 on 01 Aug: Three civilians out of a party of five going to Myitkyina from Laiza were arrested at Nam San Zi Kahtawng. The other two were later arrested at Gang Dau Yang village by Burma Army LIB (384) in Waingmaw township.
No. 2 Brigade
0216 on 3 Aug: Combined troops under the command of MOC (3) and Red Shan (P.T.Ts) clashed with KIA soldiers from No.14 Battalion at Lamung Tu (KJ 604 729). At 1150, six tanks fromYuzana Company arrived at Ja Wang, and provided supported fire between 1055-1210, Danai township.
1730 on 3 Aug: Burma Army troops stationed at Nam Ya monastery fired two 60mm shells towards the outskirts of Nam Ya village in Hpakant township.
No. 4 & 6 Brigade(s)
1115-1200 on 2 Aug: Burma Army troops under the command of LID (33) clashed with TNLA troops at the village of Kawng Mu in Muse township, northern Shan state.
1000 on 3 Aug: KIA soldiers from No.9 Battalion clashed with Burma Army troops under the command of LID (99) at Kawng Mu village in Kuthkai township, northern Shan state.
1115-1200 on 2 Aug: Combined Burma Army troops from IB (33, 146) and LIB (17, 503) clashed with the TNLA troops at Kawng Mu village in Mabing township in KIA No.4 Brigade.
1530 on 4 Aug: Combined Burma Army troops from IB (276) and LIB (521) arrived at Htang Rang Kawng and clashed with KIA soldiers from No.12 Battalion in Mansi township.
1200-1600 on 4 Aug: A clash occurred between combined troops from IB (297), MOC (3), Red Shan militia and Lisu P.T.Ts (an ethnic Kachin but Burma allied militia), numbering 200 fired nine 60mm shells and advanced toward Hka Da Zup. The KIA defended the position. An estimated 200 people civilians from nearby villages and along Ledo took refuge in local Churches and monasteries. 1500 people civilians from Lawt Jat village, Hka Da Zup village and Ja Wang village, fleeing to along Ledo road were inquired by BA troops.
1210 on 4 Aug: IB (298) stationed at Man Pang fired three mortar shells toward Hkang Ma Hkahku in KIA No.14 Battalion area.
1520 on 4 Aug: Burma Army troops under the command of LID (99) clashed with KIA soldiers from No.36 Battalion at Munggu Man Pying in northern Shan state.
0645 on 4 Aug: Burma Army troops coming from Lawa monastery clashed with KIA soldiers at Hkum Tsai Yang village.
7 – 13 August (Clashes, Human Rights Abuses, Mortar Strikes)
No. 3 Brigade
6 Aug: LIB (320) stationed at Dum Bau Bum hill fired a 79mm piece two times toward Maru Bum Post. At 1915, Burma Army troops fired their rifles eight times at a KIA’s Tactical Post in Momauk township in KIA No.15 Battalion under No.3 Brigade.
No. 2 Brigade
0100-0200 on 8 Aug: Burma Army troops stationed at Kamaing Byuha Kawng (Tactical Command Base) fired 81mm ten times toward Loi Nawng Hku in Hpakant township in KIA No.6 Battalion.
0430-0600 on 8 Aug: Burma Army troops from IB (297, 298) stationed at Yenan Chaung Kung of Mung Hkawm Pa village fired 17 mortar shells toward Noi Je Bum hill in Danai township in KIA No.14 Battalion.
0900 on 7 Aug: LIB (388) positioned at Kum Shawng Post fired MG42 and MA rifles at Rubber Kawng Post where KIA soldiers from No.256 Mobile Battalion were stationed.
1810 on 10 Aug: Fighting broke out when combined troops from Danai ROC and MOC 3 conducted simultaneous offensives at Dum Bang Ginwang Daw, Awng Len Ja Maw, Nchyoi Maw (KJ 555 749). The KIA decamped Dum Bang Ginwang Daw. Burma Army troops fired mortar shells toward Si Dum Maw near Awng Len Ja Maw in Danai township in KIA No.14 Battalion.
1330-1730 on 11 Aug: A heavy clash broke out when KIA soldiers from No.14 Battalion defended an offensive from Danai ROC, MOC (21), Lasang Awng Wa P.T.Ts, Red Shan P.T.Ts and Lisu P.T.Ts between Awng Len and Hka Da Zup. Three Burma Army soldiers were injured. BA troops fired ten 81mm shells towards Hka Da Zup from Lamung Tu.
0430 on 12 Aug: Combined troops from MOC (3), Danai ROC and P.T.Ts fired over 30 81mm shells toward Hka Da Zup in Danai township in KIA No.14 Battalion.
1320-1700 on 12 Aug: A clash broke out when estimated 100 BA troops led by Danai ROC G-I raided KIA Hka Da Zup Post. Burma Army troops later reinforced the position by transporting rice and other food rations, and deploying new troops to Hka Da Zup village.
No. 5 Brigade
0100-0300 on 7 Aug: Burma Army troops fired five 60mm shells, MG42 and MA rifles at Nhkrut Post, in Waingmaw township.
0100-0200 on 8 Aug, BA troops from LIB (388) station at Ja Pu fired three 81mm shells, MG42 and MA rifles toward Naw Gu, and troops from LIB (381) also fired 2 81mm shells toward Naw Gu.
No. 4 & 6 Brigade(s)
0830 on 10 Aug: Burma Army troops under the command of LID (99) fired three 60mm shells toward Wa Mu Bum in Muse township in KIA No.36 Battalion under No.6 Brigade.
2100-2400 on 11 Aug: Burma Army troops under the command of LID (99) clashed with KIA soldiers from No.2 Battalion at Nawng Hpai.
0400 on 12 Aug: A clash happened again at Kawng Hkam (MG 552 165) above Nawng Hpai in Kuthkai township in KIA No.4 Brigade area, northern Shan State.
14 – 20 August (Burma Army Drones, Indiscriminate Shelling and Troop Movements)
No. 4 Brigade
1000 on 16 Aug: Burma Army troops stationed at Dingga fired two 60mm shells toward Lai Hpawng side where KIA soldiers were positioned.
1800 on 19 Aug: An estimated 100 Burma Army troops exiting out of IB (123) Base at Nam Hpak Ka arrived at Loi Hkam village.
0730 on 20 Aug: Soldiers from Burma Army IB (268) arriving at Dingga fired 1 81mm shell toward Lai Hpawng. At 1030, they shelled once again. At 1345, Burma Army troops stationed at Htang Maw Hkang fired on 81mm shell toward Ngaw Le, Maling Post, and at 1450 they shelled once again.
No. 6 Brigade
2230-2310 on 19 Aug: A Burma Army drone made a double round over Mung Baw, Bang Bum and Loi Jung in Munggu township, northern Shan State.
No. 5 Brigade
1600 on 16 Aug: Burma Army IB (16) from Wu Htau and attacked a KIA militia position at Lai Hpawm Bum.
2030 on 16 Aug: Over 40 Burma Army troops from IB (93) arrived at a monastery in Ja Ing Yang village. There they clashed with KIA soldiers in Nam San Yang Sub-township.
0755 on 17 Aug: Burma Army troops from LIB (381) attacked Nhkram Post where seven KIA soldiers. The post was decamped. 37 Burma Army troops from Katsu, Dabak and Gara Yang were later deployed to reinforce the Nhkram side of Waingmaw township.
Between 1000-1055 on 18 Aug: Burma Army troops fired 16 81mm shells from their position at Hka Ya Bum (Naura Jinghkang). Two shells landed at Munglai Hkyet village, three shells landed on the north-west side of Lamai Yang village and 11 shells landed around Chyin Yu Bum hill – 2.5 km from Laiza.
0945 on 18 Aug: Burma Army IB (384) positioned at Dum Bang Bum fired three 81mm shells toward Hka La, four 81mm shells toward Dum Hpawng Kawng from Hpunpyen Bum at 1000, three 120mm shells toward Kagam Post from Hkangkai Bum.
1530-1840 on 18 Aug: A clash broke out when the combined force from BA LIB (602, 438) conducted a raid on Nam Hka Bum (LG 484 369) where KIA soldiers were stationed in Mansi township.
1150-1245 on 19 Aug: Fighting resumed when the combined troops from IB (237), LIB (438 and 602) raided Nam Hka Bum again in three separate attacks.
1530 on 19 Aug: IB (87) fired three 81mm shells toward Ngaw Le and Bum Sen from their positions on Wu Raw Bum hill in Sadung Sub-township in KIA No.5 Brigade.
2010 on 19 Aug: Burma Army troops fired one 60mm shell toward Hkrawm Kawng village (LG 476 939) from their position in Bum Kapaw Bum, and one 60mm shell toward Nam Hpak Krung from Man Da Bum (LG 470 905) in Momauk township in No.5 Brigade.
1809-1045 on 18 Aug: IB (47) fired eight 60mm shells from their positions at Walai Hpung Yang Bum (LG 563 852) towards Lagat Bum (LG 581 847). IB (142) fired three 60mm shells from their positions at Yaw Yung (LG 620 808) towards Hkringmu Dan Dingsa (LG 623 829). LIB (390) positions at Man Da (LG 470 905) also fired one 60mm shell toward Nam Hpak Hka Krung.
1010 on 18 Aug: Burma Army LIB (388) positioned at Mali Yang fired five 81mm shells toward Mali Hkahku.
1530 on 20 Aug: A Burma Army convoy from Myitkyina of five troop carrying trucks carrying an estimated 100 Burma Army troops, with an additional two military trucks carrying around seven soldiers and food rations and a final small truck carrying VIPs dropped-off around twenty soldiers at Sadung at 2100 and continued to Lahpai village.
2300 on 20 Aug: Burma Army troops fired RPG’s and rounds from an MG42 Light Machine Gun from Nhkram Post in Waingmaw township towards an area where KIA soldiers were thought to have been residing. Soldiers from the KIA fired back with machine gun fire . At 0830 on 21 Aug, Burma Army troops resumed fire with a MG42 machine gun at a location where KIA soldiers were known to be staying.
21 – 27 August (Clashes, Indiscriminate Shelling, and Human Rights Abuses)
No. 4 Brigade
0630-1000 on 23 Aug: IB (268) position at Dingga, fired ten 81mm shells toward Lai Hpawng. At the same time Burma Army troops positioned at Wu Htau fired three 81mm shells toward Bum Sen where KIA soldiers were positioned.
21-22 Aug: Burma Army troops under the command of LID (99) clashed with KIA soldiers from No.9 Battalion on a hill above Num Shang Hkyet between Bak Noi and Kawng Mu at 1300 on 21 Aug and at 1800 on 22 Aug in Kuthkai township, northern Shan State.
1130 on 23 Aug, Burma Army troops under the command of LID (99) clashed with KIA soldiers from No.9 Battalion at between Lai Mawk and Zai Maw in Kuthkai township in KIA No.4 Brigade area, northern Shan state.
1800-1845 on 25 Aug: TNLA troops had a chance contact with Burma Army troops of an unknown battalion near Kaung Kat village and Hona village in Kuthkai township in KIA No.4 Brigade, northern Shan State.
No. 5 Brigade
1600 on 21 Aug: LIB (16) stationed at Byin Pu Kawng hill fired several mortar shells towards the village of Lai Hpawng.
Between 0400-0730 hours on 22 Aug: Burma Army troops position at Wu Htau fired 3 81mm shells and 6 60mm shells toward Wu Htau Bum Sen where KIA soldiers stay in Sadung Sub-township.
1700 on 24 Aug: Burma Army troops stationed at Dum Bang Bum, Nam San Yang fired two mortar shells towards Maisak Pa in Nam San Yang Sub-township in KIA No.18 Battalion under No.5 Brigade.
2015 on 24 Aug: Burma Army troops stationed at Hpunpyen Bum fired ten mortar shells toward N-gaw Bum in Sub-Dawhpum Yang township in KIA No.24 Battalion under No.5 Brigade.
2015 on 24 Aug: Burma Army troops stationed at Hka Ya Bum fired three mortar shells towards Tsinyu Bum and Nawhpyu Bum.
No. 3 Brigade
0840 on 21 Aug: Burma Army troops position at Dum Bau Bum fired a 60mm shell toward Hting Ra Hkyet after hearing a landmine explode in Mamauk township.
1640 on 22 Aug: Burma Army LIB (602) staying at Deng-29 fired 5 60mm shells toward Hpara in Mansi township in KIA No.1 Battalion area.
1000-1300 on 24 Aug: Burma Army troops stationed at Dingga fired 20 81mm shells towards KIA soldiers at Lai Hpawng Post, in Sadung Sub-township in KIA No.3 Battalion.
0226 on 25 Aug: IB (236) stationed at Wu Raw Bum fired eight 81mm mortar shells towards Ngwa Le Bum.