An interview with Colonel Naw Bu, Spokesperson of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) about the military situations in Kachin State.
The military council is trying hard to establish a foothold in Namsan Yang village, the KIO headquarters. After more than a month, the military council could make no effective operation and suffered heavy casualties. Currently, the military council is carrying out the reinforcement of troops from Bhamo using the military ships and the reinforcement of the people’s militia forces from Shan State.
The Kachin News Group (KNG) interviewed Colonel Naw Bu, Spokesperson of the KIO about the intensity of battles and the latest military situations in Kachin State.
Q: Colonel, I heard that the military council is carrying out the reinforcements of troops from Bhamo and sending the people’s militia from Shan State to Kachin State. What is the situation about it?
A: The current situation is that the military council is giving military training to the people’s militias in northern Shan State. It’s been about two months. Militias are undergoing military training in Muse, Tarmorenyae and Namphatkar. The military council gives heavy weapon training. Militias were summoned to Mandalay and sent to Bhamo by air through Mandalay. I have got the news that some militias were sent to Myitkyina. I have yet to know the exact number of militias. But they said 50 people from a militia group were summoned. There are more than 50 militia groups in Shan State. I don’t know who they are. I think the military council will not summon all militia groups. I think the military council mainly relies on Tarmorenyae people’s militia, Muse Myoma people’s militia, Shan and Chinese people’s militias. In the news that I heard until one day, the military council has not yet summoned the KDA- Kawng Kha militia force. The main thing is that the military strength of Min Aung Hlaing’s groups has become very weak. So, the military council has to use the people’s militia forces. The military council finds it difficult to recruit new soldiers. According to the current military situation, the rations and military equipment which arrived by ship remain in Bhamo. I still don’t know exactly how it will be transported. All entries and exits in Bhamo are closed. The military council uses motorcycles and vehicles to carry rations and weapons. According to unconfirmed news, the military plans to carry them by vessels. However, the people’s militia forces are gathering in Bhamo, and rations and arms remain there.
Q: How intense the fighting can be in Kachin State as the military council is conducting the offensive with the deployment of troops, weapons and ships.
A: The war will intensify. Among the Ethnic Revolutionary Organizations (EROs), only four EROs—the Karen National Union (KNU), the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), the Chin National Front (CNF) and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO)—are fighting with the military council all the time. I think the military council will conduct offensives by deploying more troops. The military council has deployed troops in Karenni and the KNU areas. According to the internal decision made at the quarterly meeting, the military council will make more efforts in Kachin and Chin States. The military council will use jet fighters in the fighting. According to their procedures, military operations in the rainy season last until the end of October. I think the battle in Kachin State will be intense during this period. He (Min Aung Hlaing) will make an all-out effort. We will try our best. So, according to my rough review, fighting will continue to intensify in Kachin State.
Q: How much damage does the military council suffer in the ongoing fighting in Kachin State?
A: Until now, the military council troops are conducting offensives in Namsan Yang, Maliyan and Aungjar. They (military council troops), who have been on the offensive since last July, have been living in the forest for more than a month. They alone are not in position to advance. They will advance after the reinforcement of food and troops from Bhamo. Our Kachin Independence Army (KIA) attacks the military council troops with heavy shells and drones. As far as I know, around 80 soldiers were killed. Other battles were not intense. Fighting took place in Hpakant. But it ended in a short period of time. However, there were casualties. In Namsan Yang, fighting took a longer period of time. The total number of the soldiers killed in July alone reached nearly 100. Among those killed and wounded are the captains.
Q: How many times did the military council troops conduct airstrikes during the fighting in July?
A: In the meantime, the military council didn’t conduct too many airstrikes. Two airstrikes in Namsan Yang and two in Maliyan. The military council conducts airstrikes in Kathaingtaung in Hpakant. We fought back as the military council conducted an offensive in Salzin. I think the military mistakenly dropped bombs, using the wrong map.
Q: As a last question, which message do you want to convey to the public about the possible fighting in Kachin State?
A: The battle may become intense. But we will have to try to achieve our goal. No matter how difficult it is. We will have to work together with the people. It is our national duty. There will be difficulties. War may bring casualties and destruction. No matter what it is, we have to fight hard to achieve our goal. The availability of food may be difficult. All the people can be affected. The public should collect food. Now the military council is blocking it in various ways, so it may cause financial difficulties. The military council may carry out discriminate attacks on the civilian targets as it always uses heavy weapons and jet fighters. We should avoid public gatherings. Pedestrians should go by listening to the news. I am worried that the people may encounter the military column if they go outside without listening to the news. So, I want to say that all people should always be vigilant about the news.
Sent by KNG.