The Burma Army (BA) has begun fortifying its military camp near Alaw Bum, the strategic hilltop in Momauk Township that the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) recaptured from regime troops in March 2021.
According to a local source, two trucks with cement bags, a vehicle carrying petroleum and a backhoe were delivered to their Shang Htung Bum camp last April.
“I think they built concrete bunkers and additional buildings in the camp,” the man told KNG. More than 100 soldiers from BA guarded the vehicles and supplies for the mountain camp. BA Infantry Battalion 142 and Light Infantry Battalions 438, 320 and 387 are stationed on Shang Htung Bum.
In the last six months, fighting between the KIA and BA has stopped in the area. Previously, Kachin soldiers had attacked regime forces travelling through the township. The source said the junta has recently sent troops to Dor Hpung Yang town and Nuam Lang village, both on the Myitkyina-Bhamo road.
According to a statement by the KIA’s political arm, the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), the ethnic armed organisation wants to avoid fighting with the regime at this time in order to protect the people.
KIO spokesperson Col Naw Bu said: ”Once fighting breaks out, it is very difficult to stop it. Therefore, our troops will only attack strategically important positions of the regime.”
But fighting is taking place in the Sagaing Region, where the KIA, backed by the People’s Defence Forces and the All Burma’s Students Defence Force, is clashing with the BA near the border with Kachin State.
Meanwhile, regime leader and army chief Min Aung Hlaing has called on some of Burma’s ethnic armed organisations to hold so-called peace talks, promising to meet personally with two representatives from each group during the talks on 9 May in Naypyitaw, the capital of the Southeast Asian country.