A battle broke out in the new town of Shwe Koke Ko; Indonesia’s efforts to find a solution to the Myanmar crisis

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – April 05 Scenes

MoeMaKa, April 06 2023

A battle broke out in the new town of Shwe Koke Ko; Indonesia’s efforts to find a solution to the Myanmar crisis

According to news reports, thousands of local residents have fled to Thailand after the KNU and joint forces attacked the BGF camp under the command of the military council in the early morning hours of April 5, near a village near Shwe Koke Ko new town in Myawaddy Township, Karen State.

KNLA joint forces stormed the Shwe Koke Ko base of the Border Guard Force, abbreviated as BGF, which transformed from a ceasefire armed group, the original DKBA, due to pressure from the previous military regime before the 2010 election, under the military’s command.

Shwe Koke Ko New City is famous for casino games, online financial scams, threats and coercion, etc., which are operating in the new city project. In this area, criminals and wanted people fleeing international action took refuge, and the above crimes and gambling were done.

The attack this time was aimed at the BGF’s military bases, not a place like the casino above.

The attack occurred a few days after the incident in which three Myanmar PDF comrades arrested by the Thai police in Mae Sot were handed over to the BGF and deported. There are also reports that 3 PDF comrades who were handed over by Thailand were killed in a shootout while running away within a few days of their handover.

In recent months, Karen armed groups such as the KNU/KNLA-PC, known as the To-Kawko group, the DKBA group, and the BGF group have met in a village in Hlaingbwe Township and held a meeting to prevent attacks between Karen armed groups. The recently established Kawthoolei army, led by General Nerdah Mya, who was in charge of the former KNDO, was not invited to participate in the discussion.

Among the 5 individual Karen armed groups, KTLA, the so-called Kawthoolei Army, is the latest armed group that has not yet been invited in the dialogue among the Karen armed groups.

It is still too early to say whether the Shwe Koke Ko battle will become more intense or whether the BGF will negotiate with the joint forces that attacked them.

Another news topic for today is that Indonesia, which has become the rotating chair of ASEAN, is making diplomatic efforts to find a solution to the Myanmar crisis. The Indonesian Foreign Minister said that they are communicating and negotiating with all relevant organizations to implement the 5-Point ASEAN Consensus, which the military council has nodded in agreement with for the past 2 years. It has not yet been revealed which groups are and who they are. It has been generally stated that efforts are being made to provide humanitarian aid to war refugees, and to find a solution to the political and military problems.

Indonesia is one of the 10 ASEAN countries with the largest influence and was once under a military dictatorship for decades. So, it remains to be seen whether they will be able to convince the Myanmar military leaders with their experiences.