Myanmar Spring Chronicle – March 07 Scenes
MoeMaKa, March 08 2023
War is escalating in Sagaing Division, Magway Division and some parts of Myanmar
Since the beginning of February, when almost 40 townships were declared under martial law, the war has intensified in Sagaing Division, the upper part of Magway Division, some areas in Mandalay Division, some areas bordering Kayah State and Shan State, and some areas in Karen State and Kachin State. In today’s news, there is news that thousands of residents are fleeing from Khin-U Township in Sagaing Division, and because the military council has blocked the townships in the upper Magway Division, not only people can’t travel but also goods such as food and medicine can’t be transported.
Similarly, there are reports of junta columns raiding villages along the banks of the Irrawaddy River in Madaya Township of Mandalay Division, arresting people, killing them, and burning houses.
In the next piece of news, there is news that tens of thousands of locals are fleeing the war in Pinlaung Township due to fighting in the bordering areas of Kayah State and Shan State. The Karenni Army (KA) and military council troops are fighting in some villages in Pinlaung Township and Nungtayar Township. Many areas of Kayah State are dominated by the KA, KNDF, and some other armed forces, and the battle area has expanded to areas bordering Shan State outside of Kayah State.
In Kachin State, reports of fierce fighting between the military council and the KIA forces in Hpakant Township have also been reported. Clashes are taking place in the Sezin Village Group and the Mansein Village Group in Kachin State. In the previous months, there was not much fighting in Kachin state, but since February, the fighting has intensified again. After the military coup, there were fierce battles between the KIA and the military council in order to take over strategic camps and hills in areas such as Mong Mit and Myothit, and sporadic clashes often occured in the Hpakant area.
These days, there are reports of fighting in some areas of Hpapun District and Nyaunglebin Township of Karen State, and hundreds to thousands of local residents are fleeing. There are no reports of fierce fighting in the areas of the 6th and 7th Brigades of Karen State these days. There are no reports of fighting in Myawaddy, Kyainseikgyi and Kawkareik townships these days, but there are fights going on in Hpapun and Nyaunglaybin, which are in the upper part of Karen State.
It is believed that due to no current fighting in areas such as Shan State, Rakhine State, Chin State, Mon State, and so on, the military council is deploying some forces in Sagaing Division, the upper Magway Division, and some regions of Kachin State and Karen State. It is also believed that the intention is to attack the areas where martial law has been declared for a few months and to weaken the strength of the PDFs and the joint forces of ethnic armed forces and PDFs.
During the current offensives, brutal killings, destruction of houses, destruction and looting of food belonging to local residents, killing of adults, teenagers and children with mere suspicion, and killing of women are seen in the news. This offensive will probably be an attempt by the military council to use all its strength to defeat the armed forces fighting against them. For this aim, it seems that the higher commanders are allowing the bottom troops to do as they desire without any hesitation to commit war crimes such as brutality and murder. Although it can’t be said to be “Sitt Oo Bhilu” (i.e. attacking massively at the beginning of the war), this offensive can be said to be “Sitt Hnaung Bhilu” (i.e. attacking massively in the later phase of the war).