“Now, Arakan, Gawrakhar, the Students’ Army and People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) have joined the KIA’s fight against the junta. In the past, the ratio of soldiers between the KIA and the junta was 3 to 100. Now we can keep abreast with the junta. We have more weapons. So, I think the KIA has achieved success in such a short period of time.” KIA’s frontline source

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Photo - The entrance to Laiza on Myitkyina-Bhamo road seen after being captured.

An interview with a local from Num Lang, a frontline source of the KIA, about the capture of military council’s camps which surrounded the KIO’s headquarters, Laiza for many years.

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and its allied forces have taken control of more than 40 military council camps near the Kachin Independence Organization’s (KIO) headquarters, Laiza within 20 days.

On 7 March, the KIA attacked and seized the camps which had been stationed from the upper and lower parts of Dawphoneyan on Myitkyina-Bhamo road to Tarpain river-crossing bridge in Moemauk Township for more than 20 years.

By 15 March, the KIA had seized control of about 30 camps including more than 10 key military camps including Hka Ya Bum, Hpunpyen Bum, Ntap Bum, Bumre Bum and Shadanpar located next to Laiza in the upper part of Dawphoneyan Sub-township and frontline security camps.

On 21 March, the KIA captured more than six camps such as Nahpaw Pajau and Lisu Pajau near Pajau Bum in the upper part of Laiza.

After the capture of all military camps in the upper and central parts of Laiza, the KIA attacked camp-7 in Moemauk Township in the lower part of Dawphoneyan on 21 March.

On 21 March, the KIA carried out synchronized attacks on two camps in Numlang with a missile unit and Nawng Kawn artillery battalion in Moemauk Township. On the same day, the KIA seized LIB-438 and LIB-616 in Numlang.

On 23 March, the KIA captured No.370 Artillery Battalion. On 26 March, the KIA took control of Konelaw, Myothit and Salaungkone camps located on the same mountain.

The Kachin News Group (KNG) interviewed a Numlang local, a frontline source about the successful capture of the military council camps which surrounded the KIA’s headquarters, Laiza for two decades, within a few days and the situation of becoming a military-free area along Dawphoneyan and Moemauk Townships.

Q: The KIA seized control of the camps in the upper and lower parts of Dawphoneyan on Myitkyina-Bhamo road within 20 days. The KIA has been capturing the camps one after another. Therefore, the military council camps between Dawphoneyan and Moemauk Townships have really been cleared? May I know the latest situation?

A: The KIA has cleared all camps from Tarpain river and Dawphoneyan in Moemauk Township in the upper part of Bhamo. In addition, there are no more military camps in the upper part of Dawphoneyan. So, everyone has accepted that there are no large or small camps in this ridge.

Q: So, which military camps are the ones the KIA recently captured in Dawphoneyan and Moemauk?

A: The camps captured by the KIA are: IB-237 in Darhseng, LIB-320 in Myotthit, LIB-387 in Konelaw, Nawng Kawn 370 Artillery Battalion, Numlang LIB-616 Missile Unit, LIB-438 and Dawphoneyan IB-142. These camps are not located in the upper part of Dawphoneyan and near Laiza. They are the ones from Dawphoneyan and Moemauk. There are no military camps left in the upper part. So, there are no military camps left between Moemauk and Namsan Hka near Laiza.

Q: So, how important are these captured military camps in Dawphoneyan and Moemauk, for the army and in terms of military strategy?

A: The weapons being fired towards our headquarters, Laiza are being transported from Bhamo to Darhseng, Numlang and Dawphoneyan step by step by tightening security. The situation is okay if the camps at the entrance to Laiza in the upper part of Bhamo are captured. No need to worry about security.

Q: The situation about fighting in Dawphoneyan, Numlang, Konelaw, Myothit, Salaungkone and Darhseng. To what extent, can the KIA capture the camps?

A: The situation varies based on locations. We seized a large quantity of arms and weapons from Dawphoneyan LIB-142, Numlang and Darhseng camps. Because these 3 military camps are the key camps that put more focus on the Laiza Headquarters. There are many other battalions, but many small camps. The KIA first attacked Dawphoneyan and then Darhseng and Numlang separately. Many of the military council soldiers from those camps also escaped. So, we seized a large quantity of small and heavy weapons.

Q: Can the people travel freely as the military council camps no longer exist in the upper, central and lower parts of Laiza?

A: At the moment, I think it will be difficult for ordinary people to travel except for officials. I think the public needs to inform the officials about it in advance. The battlefield areas are still not safe.

Q. Since the military council has lost the camps, will the military council retaliate? How will the military council retaliate if it has a plan to do so?

A: The military council is likely to fire heavy shells from that place as there are some military camps left in Moemauk. There may be heavy shelling and airstrikes from Bhamo. It is not easy for the military’s infantry unit to conduct a ground offensive. I have heard that the military council has placed heavy shells in some places in downtown Bhamo.

Q: The KIA captured more than 40 military council camps within 20 days. So, what is the difference between the battles in the past and the ongoing battles?

A: The difference is the KIO/KIA paid attention to the fighting alone. In addition, the KIO/KIA had a lower number of military personnel. The KIO/KIA was not fully satisfied with its morale. Now, Arakan, Gawrakhar, the Students’ Army and People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) have joined the KIA’s fight against the junta. In the past, the ratio of soldiers between the KIA and the junta was 3 to 100. Now we can keep abreast with the junta. We have more weapons. So, I think the KIA has achieved success in such a short period of time.

Q: Another point is there was fighting in around 1987 and between 2011 and 2013 near the KIO’s headquarters, Laiza. Please tell us about this.

A: The situation before the peace deal in 2011 was that the army attacked minority groups like us with a “Four Cuts” strategy. The fighting which started in San Gang in 2011 lasted until 2013. Since 2013, the KIA directed its soldiers not to launch an offensive and to be on the defensive if the army attacked them. However, the Alawbum fighting resumed after the coup in 2021. The KIA had planned to seize the Alawbum camp abandoned for more than 30 years. So, the KIA took control of Alawbum camp in 2021.

Q: The KIA said some of more than 40 seized military camps near Laiza were abandoned by the KIA. Which are these camps?

A: I saw the camps capturing. They are Hpunpyen Bum, Bumre Bum, Hka Ya Bum, Ntap Bum, Alawbum and Nahpaw Pajau. The military seized these camps from the KIA. Now, the KIA has retaken these camps. The military council had been stationed in some military camps for more than 20 to 30 years.

Q: Finally, what do you think as a local about the KIA’s attack and capture of military council camps near Laiza on the Myitkyina-Bhamo road? What message do you want to convey to the public?

A: The KIA made all-out efforts to seize all the large and small military camps near the headquarters. Civilian houses were burned down and destroyed. The public suffered huge losses. There were a lot of civilian casualties. Our families have lost their homes. Even though we are facing such incidents, we are strong from now on. Our morale becomes stronger as we is distant from the military council.

Starting today, we shall stand on our own feet and carry out reconstruction. Those who lost their lives are to be regarded as a capital in building the country. I would like to call on those who are grieving for their losses to rebuild with a new mind and body.

Sent by KNG

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