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Burma coup resistance notes September 23, 2023
Kachin and Karen each take 2 camps; Karen Brigade 7 still siding with the junta in violation of KNU order; junta boat sinks drowning over 100; junta arrests more of its own generals.
The Kachin army captured two junta camps this week. The first was at Aungja in Momauk Township on Sept. 16, where the Kachin seized weapons. Junta jets then bombed 10 times. (People's Spring 9/16) The second camp was at Druka village in Somprabum Township on Sept. 20, between Myitkyina and Puta-O, where the Kachin killed 11 junta troops and captured 2, including an officer; a Kachin soldier was killed and 5 wounded. The Kachin captured a lot of ammunition and destroyed the camp. (Khit Thit Media 9/20)
Then on Sept. 22 the Kachin attacked two junta trucks with 60 troops going toward Puta-O, destroying one of them and capturing a lot of weapons. Casualties aren’t reported. (Khit Thit Media 9/23)
The Karen army Brigade 6 captured Jayt camp in Kaw T’Ree Township, Dooplaya District on Sept. 20, after laying siege to it since Aug. 8. The junta troops had no means of resupply. On Sept. 20 the Karen took the camp and killed 7 troops and captured 2 who were wounded, and seized a large amount of weapons and ammunition. (KNU 9/21)
Then on Sept. 22 Brigade 6 took another junta camp, at Yedayauk on the Thai border. (Mizzima 9/22)
Junta troops from Mudon in Mon State invaded Kale town in Dooplaya District’s Win Ye Township on Sept. 14 and were counter-attacked by the Karen army and Red Dragon PDF. During a 3-hour battle, 10 invaders were killed including a deputy commander, and a Karen soldier was also killed. A helicopter came to support the junta troops, and the Karen captured some weapons. (People's Spring 9/18)
Four days of fighting in Lanku and Madaung villages of Palaw Township, in Beit-Tavoy District killed 5 junta troops, and a junta raid on a PDF camp killed 8 freedom fighters and captured 7 guns. A dalan tip-off is suspected. At least 5 civilians were murdered by junta troops. Then the troops burned the villages and kidnapped over 100 villagers as hostages, and fired mortars into civilian areas from land and navy boats. The rest of the civilians fled into the mountains, in rainy season. (Mizzima 9/17, Khit Thit Media 9/19) On the other hand, PDF snipers picked off 2 junta troops in Ye Phyu Township further north. (Ayeyarwaddy Times 9/19)
Karen forces attacked a junta road gate in Kyaikto in Doo Tha Htoo District on Sept. 19, killing 5 troops and forcing the junta to withdraw. The junta is trying to prepare yet another attack to recapture the Latkatdaung mountain camp above Myawaddy that it lost in July. (Ayeyarwaddy Times 9/20)
The chairman of of Karen army Brigade 7 Pa’an District, Aung Maung Ee, issued a statement that his brigade still will not fight, and will instead retain its cozy relationship with the junta. This directly contradicts Kawthoolei government policy. Aung Maung Ee apparently wants to be invited to a celebration of the defunct National Ceasefire Agreement planned by the genocidal junta in Naypyitaw. The KNU was previously a signatory to the NCA, but has since renounced it. (Myanmar Now 9/16)
The Karen have taken over administration in Xrotherpler town on the Thai border (3 Pagodas Pass) in Dooplaya District. The small junta garrison there cannot leave its camp. Administration is being shared between the Kawthoolei government (KNU) and local splinter groups including the DKBA and Peace Council. (KNU 9/22)
A previously secret unit of Karen army Brigade 2, called the Iron Tiger Battalion, was apparently behind the attacks in Naypitaw Region on June 12 and August 10, and also the aerial bombing of the Naypyitaw air force base on Sept. 15. It is a tactical unit whose purpose is attacking in Naypitaw Region, and some members have combat experience in Karenni. (People's Spring 9/22)
After losing many battles in Kler Lwi Htoo District, the junta is retaliating against civilian communities with mortar fire and airstrikes, forcing 10,000 people to flee into the jungle. (Than Lwin Times 9/20)
Intense fighting has been taking place close to Muse city on the China border. It started Sept. 17 and continued. The fighting spread into Muse city itself, resulting in some burned buildings. The fighting is disrupting cross-border trade with China. (Khit Thit Media 9/18)
The Ta’ang are also fighting in Mogok in Mandalay Region, where a convoy of 3 junta trucks from Mandalay was attacked on Sept. 18. One of the trucks was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, another was destroyed by 4 roadside bombs, then the survivors were subjected to intense rifle fire, shown in a video released by the Ta’ang. At least 20 troops were killed and about the same number wounded. The trucks were halted. (Khit Thit Media 9/18)
The Ta’ang report that they fought 5 confrontations with the junta on Sept. 19 alone, capturing 9 rifles, some mortar rounds, ammunition, and equipment. (Myanmar Now 9/20)
In its expanded territory since the coup, the Ta’ang government, called the Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF), is building its civilian services such as education, law enforcement (especially against the drug trade), and health care. The junta no longer has administrative capacity in that area. (The Irrawaddy 9/22)
Since the junta sent most of its Shan State-based troops to fight in Karenniland, it is trying to mobilize scattered local militias and drug gangs in its support, as the ethnic armies – Ta’ang, Kokang, and Shan SSPP – take greater control in northern Shan.
Karenni defense forces battled junta troops on the northern outskirts of Loikaw city on Sept. 18. (People's Spring 9/18) Revolution forces have been striking junta positions in cities lately. Fighting has also been going on in the eastern part of Loikaw Township since Sept. 18, with no result reported yet. (Mekong News 9/22)
Now that the junta and the Arakan Army are detaining each other’s officials again, someone – apparently the AA – abducted the junta’s police chief and deputy in Patletwa town of southern Chin State, on Sept. 16. (Zalen News 9/18) Although it is in Chin State, Paletwa has been a stronghold of the AA.
People’s Defense Forces (PDFs)-----------------
A junta transport boat hit a rock and capsized in the Chindwin River on Sept. 19, with Pyu Saw Htee terrorists, troops, and non-CDM junta staff and university students on board; over 100 drowned and only 2 survivors are known. Twelve boats had gone upriver carrying coal and other supplies, and was coming back down with jade when the attack happened. (People's Spring 9/19)
PDFs in Tantse Township attacked and overran 2 junta positions in Tantse town on Sept. 22, killing 23 troops and Pyu Saw Htees and capturing 14 guns; a PDF soldier also died. The PDFs destroyed the positions, including an immigration office and a camp at a gas station, then left. (Khit Thit Media 9/22)
Junta troops are trying to recapture the camp they lost in Kachandaung in Minhla Township of Bago Region on Sept. 9, but have not overcome PDF defenses. On Sept. 14 and 15 they failed and had to retreat, but called up reinforcements and tried again on Sept. 16. On Sept. 21 15 more troops came, but half got wounded and 2 died and they retreated again. The PDFs killed 10 troops total and wounded 10, but suffered no losses. (People's Spring 9/17) Bago Region has now become a hot spot that where the junta must divert troops to defend.
A PDF in Gangaw Township of Magway Region drone-bombed junta and Pyu Saw Htee terrorist troops on Sept. 16, killing 4 and wounding 17, with more fatalities likely among the wounded. The troops then fired mortars into nearby civilian communities, injuring 2 people. (People's Spring 9/17)
Two days later the PDFs mounted a ground assault 3 km from one of the junta’s weapons factories, killing 3 more troops and wounding 2 Pyu Saw Htees. The PDFs captured 9 rifles and 6 muskets, all of them old and worn. The junta then air-dropped reinforcements to the weapons factory. (Mizzima 9/22) Nowadays the PDFs are sometimes better armed than the junta units they face, a complete reversal from the start of the current civil war.
PDFs in Myinmu Township, between Mandalay and Monywa cities, say they drone-bombed junta troops 26 times between Sept. 12 and Sept. 20 and killed 18 troops and wounded others. (Khit Thit Media 9/22)
Multiple explosions went off in Yangon the night of Sept. 22, in South Okalappa, Thaketa, North Dagon, and Myangone Townships. (Khit Thit Media 7/22) Urban guerrilla groups are still active.
A branch of the junta-owned Myawaddy Bank in Mandalay was blown up on Sept. 16, sending two soldier-guards to the hospital with injuries. For the previous 2 days soldiers at that location had been abusing passers-by. (Mandalay Free Press 9/16)
PDFs attacked junta troops and officers partying at a karaoke bar in downtown Kawlin town in Sagaing Region on Sept. 17, sparking a 2-hour battle in which 8 of the troops were killed, including an officer. A PDF soldier was wounded.
The list of top junta generals arrested grows longer. The latest are all members of the junta’s ‘Central Committee for Trade and Commodity Flows’, who are being blamed for the crisis with food and fuel shortage and currency devaluation. The crisis is actually caused by printing money, which led to rapid inflation, and was exacerbated by the junta jailing business leaders who import food and fuel, and trying to outlaw inflation by force.
Junta generals arrested so far include Lt. Gen. Moe Myint Tun, chairman of the committee on trade; Gen. Yan Naung Soe, deputy secretary of the interior, and his family members; Gen. Nyunt Aung, deputy minister of the economy; Gen. Kun Than, deputy minter of commerce, and his family. The police commanders for Sagaing and Mandalay Regions were also arrested this week on the same charges. (Mizzima 9/22) They join Gen. Koko Maung who was commander of the army in the north, and three top military officials from the southeast, arrested in July. Lt. Gen. Tay Za Kyaw, a top confident of dictator Min Aung Hlaing, was arrested in August, and the junta arrested five of its regional ‘governors’ at the beginning of September.
As the military situation and the economy grow bleaker for the junta, the dictator is punishing his own people, creating the potential for a coup-within-the-coup if officers think they should act before they too are arrested.
Three more junta troops defected to the Revolution with full weapons in Pekhon Township of Karenniland, and 3 junta soldiers, one with a a sophisticated sniper rifle, joined the Karen army in Dooplaya District. Twenty junta troops and police have defected with their weapons since August in Kawthoolei, Kachin, Chin, Shan, Bago, and Sagaing. They are driven by high death rates in battle, loss of camps and positions, and cash rewards offered by resistance forces. (The IrrawaddyE 9/21)
PDFs in Gangaw Township of Magway Region say over 3,000 people have fled from terrorist Pyu Saw Htee camps in the last 6 months, and have been assisted by the PDFs to find shelter in refugee camps or the homes of relatives and friends. They say the junta has been forcibly recruiting under-age villagers, while others were forced to work as porters. They run away when they can. (Than Lwin Times 9/21) While the Pyu Saw Htee carry out terrorist attacks on civilian communities on behalf of the junta, the PDFs fight and counter-attack them, but when they defect, they are welcomed and given assistance to escape.
A junta police sergeant who was arrested by the BNRA PDF alliance in Yinmapin Township of Sagaing Region admitted during debriefing that the police openly allow illegal gambling and other crimes as long as the police chiefs receive a share of the profit. He also said human rights abuses and killings occur during questioning of prisoners. (Khit Thit Media 9/21) This is confirmation of what has become common knowledge since the coup.
Political and economic-------------------
The junta is now sending fully armed soldiers to supermarkets, stores and restaurants in Yangon and around the country to force them to sell Myanmar beer and other crony company products that have been boycotted. (The Irrawaddy 9/17) It isn’t clear what happens if customers don’t buy them.
Since the junta demanded that all overseas workers send at least 25% of their foreign salaries home through junta-owned banks, it has been kidnapping money transfer service operators who don’t go through the banks. (Tanintharyi Times 9/19) On Sept. 19 it canceled the licenses of 123 foreign exchange companies, including top Yangon hotels, in an attempt to force transfers through junta-owned banks. Forcing people to go through its banks and change Thai baht or dollars at the junta’s artificial exchange rate of 2100 kyats to the dollar instead of the real rate of 3500:1 means the junta grabs 40% of people’s transfer money, just by the skewed exchange rate. Overseas workers are avoiding that.
The NUG is auctioning junta-owned properties in Pyin Oo Lwin, in Mandalay Region, to raise funds for the Revolution. (People's Spring 9/17)
The NUG also declared 44 top actors at the junta’s so-called “central bank” as terrorists, for printing unauthorized currency notes to fund the junta’s war crimes. The printing and currency manipulation also caused rampant inflation that has led to skyrocketing consumer prices and shortages of food and medicine for the population. (Mizzima 9/18)
Burma citizens in New York, Paris, Rome, and the homeland have been marching and demonstrating in favor of the re-appointment of Burma’s pro-democracy UN Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun, with the slogan, “Our Ambassador, Our Voice.” This week the UN Credentials Committee that approves ambassadorial changes declined to meet, leaving U Kyaw Moe Tun to continue his duties representing Burma. The junta keeps trying and failing to replace him.
Work on a US$2.8 billion redevelopment project at the Yangon central railway station has stopped because the contractor left the country. The project began under the NLD government. (Mizzima 9/18)