Tatmadaw warns KIA
The Tatmadaw has told the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) to remove its military bases from Tanai township or face the consequences.
THE Tatmadaw demanded the removal of military bases of Kachin Independence Army’s Battalion 14 from Tanai township during a meeting in China last week.
The Tatmadaw and Kachin Independence Organization, the political wing of KIA, met in Yunan province’s Tarli town on February 1 through the mediation of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in a bid to reduce military tension in Kachin State.
But the meeting ended without substantive agreement, although both sides agreed to hold further talks.
The meeting comes amid fresh Tatmadaw attacks against KIA troops in Tanai township, where the armed ethnic organisation controls amber mines. Due to the fighting that erupted last month, thousands are reported to have fled the area.
The Tatmadaw representatives said they do not recognise some KIA military bases, including Battalion 14, which operates near Tanai township, and some brigades, according to a KIO statement Thursday.
Battalion 14 is the military branch of KIA that controls the security of amber mines in Tanai, which is reported to be a major source of income for the armed ethnic group.
In June last year, tension increased in Tanai after military helicopters spread warning letters telling people to evacuate the mining areas before a “clearance operation”.
Although details of the discussion were not released, leaked documents of meeting records said the Tatmadaw demanded the removal of bases it does not recognise or it would remove them by force.
The Myanmar Times tried to reach the KIO spokesperson to ask for comment, but did not succeed.
According to the KIO statement, Lt-gen Tun Tun Naung, chief of the Bureau of Special Operations 1, led the army delegation while the KIO delegation was led by Gen N’ban La.
“The KIO discussed the prospect of ending the fighting, for the region’s stability, achieving peace and building a federal union with Panglong promises”, said the statement.
The meeting, the first to be held since the military training academy of the KIA was bombed by the Tatmadaw in November 2014, killing nearly two dozen trainees. Since then, communication channels between the KIA and Tatmadaw have been cut.
Regarded as an influential group with its former allies the United Nationalities Federal Council, the KIO played a major role in peace negotiations that started under the administration of President U Thein Sein.
‘The KIO discussed the prospect of ending the fighting, for the region’s stability...’ KIO statement