Less than a week after peace talks between the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and the Burmese government ended unsuccessfully, the Burmese army began a large scale troop redeployment, sending fresh soldiers to relieve those already based at the Kachin frontlines, the Kachin News Group learned.
Troops from Light Infantry Division No. 99 based in Meiktila in Mandalay division, who were fighting the Kachin Independence Army’s battalion 1, 12 and 27 in the Manwin, Nam Hkam and Manje area, were recently replaced with fresh troops from Military Operation Command (MOC) No. 1 based in Kyaukme and MOC No. 16 based in Theinni (or Hsenwi), said a senior official from the KIA.
Local residents of Manwin report that on Monday a military convoy consisting of more than 29 trucks, returned to base via the Manwin to Muse road. The Kachin News Group has learned that the troops in this convoy were from No. 992 Tactical Command under Light Infantry Division No. 99 led by Colonel Win Naing.
Over the weekend the Burmese military began sending an estimated 1,500 troops to the face off against the KIA’s 8th battalion in northern Shan state. KIA officials say this deployment is part of a major campaign by Burma’s government to capture territory for the Shwe pipeline project including Namtu, Mandong, Nam Hkam (or Nam Kham) and KIA positions near Muse close to the Chinese border.