The Burma Army wants the Kachin Independence Organization/Army (KIO/A) to eliminate two of its military camps in Kachin State.
Col Kyaw Lin Aung, minister of security and border affairs, sent a formal request to KIO/A on September 8 to dismantle the camps through the Kachin Peace-Talk Creation Group (PCG). The camps are located next to the N’mai Hka River in Chipwi Township.
Col Nhpang Naw Bu, in charge of the Kachin Independence Organization’s (KIO) information department, told KNG that in the letter the Tatmadaw threatened to launch an offensive if it doesn’t get rid of the camps by September 13. “We replied that we want to resolve the problem through political dialogue.”
He hoped there could be a resolution without fighting and that the KIO/A requested negotiation with the Northern Regional Military Command.
The Tatmadaw did not launch an attack on KIO/A’s battalion-46 based in the area, although several days have passed since its deadline.
Duwa Lamai Gum Ja, from Kachin PCG, said the Burma Army wants the KIO/A camps removed because they were built after 1994. “According to the 1994 ceasefire agreement between the Burma Army and KIO/A, it was agreed that the Kachin army would live west of the N’mai Hka River, but build a military camp on the east side of it. The KIO/A said it’s in their controlled territory. And that’s the reason for the dispute.”
Col Nhpang Naw Bu pointed out that the Burma Army also expanded its territory after ’94 and that the issue should be resolved through negotiation.
KNG reached out to residents of the contested area and found they were unaware of the Tatmadaw’s ultimatum.
In Chipwi Township, there are gold and rare earth mines as well as Chipwi Nge Hydropower Plant.
Burma Army has been fighting KIO/A since September 11 in Kyukok (Panghsai) sub-township, northern Shan State, located in Muse District.
In August, the Tatmadaw informed KIO/A to close its Technical Advisory Team office in Kachin State capital, Myitkyina.
The KIO/A hasn’t signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement but was discussing a possible bilateral ceasefire agreement with the government and Tatmadaw. The ethnic armed organization is a member group of the Northern Alliance and the Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee.