Monday, July 20, 2009

Junta transports armaments to Puta-O district

by KNG

Military hardware, including weapons and ammunition is being transported to Puta-O (also called Putau in Kachin) district, Kachin State, in the northernmost region of Burma since last year by the military junta, said local sources.

Kachins in Puta-O said, local Burmese Army soldiers are transporting weapons and ammunition to the two remote towns --- Nong Mong and Khaunglanghpu, east of Mali Hka river by horses and in vehicles.

Both small and big weapons are being transported to the two small towns from the Burmese Army's Infantry Battalion No. 137 based in Machyangbaw (also pronounced Machan Baw in Burmese), 14 miles southeast of Puta-O town, said residents of Machyangbaw.

At the same time, the junta is increasingly providing more weapons to a local Rawang militia group called "Rebellion Resistance Force, RRF" led by businessman Tanggu Dang, the owner of Mali Hka Recording in Kachin State's capital Myitkyina, based in Shing Hkong in Khaunglanghpu, said sources close to the RRF.

Rawang is one of six major tribes in Kachin nationals, and are mainly settled in Puta-O district in Kachin State, Northern Burma.

The RRF leader Tanggu Dang, also called Ahdang, has been severely condemned by his Rawang tribe in Puta-O for "selling Rawang tribe" because he recruited hundreds of local Rawang young people for the Burmese Army on the pretext of recruiting for the RRF during the last two years, say native Rawang people in Puta-O.

According to the war history of Puta-O after Burma’s Independence in 1948, many Rawang people served in the Burmese Army and militias in Puta-O. They fought against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in the district.

The response of local people to weapons being delivered to Puta-O district is that the junta is planning a 'war between the Kachins'. The conflict between KIA and RRF may restart after next year’s elections because of the machinations of the junta, said local sources.

The junta is also secretly deploying more troops and transporting weapons to the rest of Kachin State like Myitkyina district, Bhamo district, Waingmaw Township and Hukawng Valley, said local sources close to the Burmese Army.

The ruling junta’s actions indicate they are gearing up for an inevitable war with the KIA, post elections, said local sources.

Meanwhile, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the political wing of KIA is demanding self-determination of Kachin State from the ruling junta in place of changing KIA to a battalion of the Border Guard Force (BGF) proposed by the junta, said KIO officials.

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