Sunday, 26 January 2020

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Last Stand in Laiza?


In the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) stronghold of Laiza, rebel fighters and thousands of residents are preparing for a final push by the Burmese army, fearful that the capturing of the city could prove a fatal blow to the survival of the ethnic army, wrote Mon Mon Myat in The Bangkok Post on Sunday.

The KIA’s proclaimed capital, Laiza, which is directly split in half by the border with China’s Yunnan province in the background. (Photo: Human Rights Watch)<br />
The KIA’s proclaimed capital, Laiza, which is directly split in half by the border with China’s Yunnan province in the background. (Photo: Human Rights Watch)
Bunkers dug around the town—which is pincered in a mountainous area between northeast Myanmar and China—are evidence of the fretful state of the locals who have been subjected to ongoing air strikes and shelling, even though the Burmese government announced a ceasefire more than a week ago in the village of Laja Yang south of Laiza where most of the fighting has taken place.

“The government announced a ceasefire in Laja Yang because they wanted to improve their image in the international community but they are actually lying,” said Maj. Zaw Khaung who has served in the KIA for 34 years.

He said that Laja Yang had already fallen to the Burmese army at the time of the announcement.

After the fall of Laja Yang, Maj. Zaw Khaung, who is the KIA's strategic commander in the area, and his troops withdrew to the Lawa Yang front line located only eight km from Laiza. He said battalions 381, 382 and 389 of the Burmese army, comprising more than 300 soldiers, occupied Laja Yang on January 18.


Full story: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/investigation/332825/kachin-army-digs-in-for-final-assault
 
The Kachin’s last stand
Since October this year, Burma has been in a state of civil war, with fighting between Burmese military and armed ethnic rebels. The ruling junta started a crackdown on these armed groups.

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