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Burmese government preparing offensive against Karen armed groups

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Burmese government troops are likely to launch military attacks against a joint force of the Karen National Union (KNU) and some battalions of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), according to sources close to the Karen armed groups.
Troops of the KNLA at an unknown location.‘They are ready to launch the military offensive. We are ready to resist, too', said Major Kyaw Thet, the tactical operation commander of the Kalohtoobaw Command of DKBA.

After more than 1,000 Karen soldiers from four battalions of border guard forces rejoined the KNU and DKBA in Myainggyingu in Hlaingbwe on June 17, the Burmese government’s Brigade No. 44 and Brigade No. 11 appear to be preparing an attack.
The government troops are positioned near DKBA headquarters in Hlaingbwe Township and in Kamamaung Township in Karen State, Major Kyaw Thet said.

Since June 17, nearly nine months after DKBA soldiers withdrew from the government’s border guard force, some have put on their DKBA unit badges again to show their rebellious spirit.  

Major Chitsayar, a commanding officer from the DKBA, told Mizzima that the units changed sides because the government failed to improve the economy in the areas where Karen lived.

Col. Nerdah Mya, right, of the Karen National Liberation Army and Lieutenant Steel, the commanding officer of Democratic Karen Buddhist Army Battalion 909. The photograph was taken at an unknown location. Photo: MizzimaOn June 17, Karen State Chief Minister Zaw Min and Muang Maung Ohn, the director of the Directorate of Border Guard Troops, talked about the issue with the DKBA-affiliated monk Sayadaw Nyanika in Myainggyingu. At that time, revered Abbot Sayadaw Thuzana, who is also close to the DKBA, was receiving medical treatment in Bangkok.
The DKBA said that Burmese Major General Maung Maung Ohn said that if the DKBA did not want to continue as a border guard force, there would be no options except armed conflict. Since then, the government has increased it troops in the area.
‘By using powerful weapons, they can seize the area, but we know the area. So, if they want to take it, many of their soldiers will need to be scarified. We will use many forms of attack including guerilla warfare’, Major Chitsayar told Mizzima.

Colonel Phawdo from Karen National Liberation Army, the military wing of the KNU, said, ‘What we really want is a genuine peace. The new government is unlikely to establish peace in the country. And there is not any sign that the government will hold a reconciliation dialogue’.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 June 2011 11:23 )  

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