A battle broke out between KIA and the military council in Nam San Yang next to the Mandalay-Myitkyina Road; PDF limited the time to use road sections connecting Yangon

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – July 03 Scenes

MoeMaKa, July 04, 2023

A battle broke out between KIA and the military council in Nam San Yang next to the Mandalay-Myitkyina Road; PDF limited the time to use road sections connecting Yangon

Among the regions of Kachin State where there has been no major fighting for months, such as Myitkyina, Waimaw, and Bhamo, a battle broke out recently between the military council and KIA forces around the village of Nam San Yang in Waimaw Township, and many local residents are reported to have fled.

Nam San Yang Village in Waimaw Township is located on the highway connecting Mandalay and Myitkyina and is only a few miles away from the KIA headquarters in Laiza. The areas where the KIA and the military council forces often clash are the jade producing areas of Hpakant and Danai. There had been no fighting in Myitkyina and Waimaw for months, and now it has recurred again. Around August of 2021 military coup, there were weeks of fierce battles in the Momauk and Konlaw of Kachin State. Again, last year and early this year, there were clashes with the military council in Nam Hpat Kar, northern Shan State. In addition to these battles, it can be said that most of the fierce battles took place around Hpakant.

As for the KIA armed group, joint attacks with the PDF have been taking place in many areas of the Sagaing Region, which borders Kachin State. The military council believes that the KIA group is providing arms and military advice to the People’s Defense Forces who are fighting against the military council in Sagaing Region, Magway Region, and some areas of Chin State.

Another news item for today is the news that the relevant people’s defense forces and ethnic armed groups have issued a warning ban on the Yangon-Mandalay Highway, Yangon-Mawlamyine, and Hpa-An highways after 6:00 p.m. The Yangon-Mandalay road section ban was issued by Sub-Military Region 2 under the Southern Military Region of Bago Division. It includes the old Yangon-Mandalay Road, Yangon-Mandalay Highway and Bago-Sittaung Road, as well as the sections of Yangon-Mawlamyine, Thaton, and Hpa-an Road from Bago Division. In addition, parts of the Yangon-Pyay road section, such as Letpadan, are also included.

Regarding the time limit on Yangon-Mandalay, Yangon-Mawlamyine, and Hpa-an roads, which are used mainly for trade and communication, the PDF side said that it was an attempt to prevent the military council from replenishing people, weapons, and food because the battle is about to escalate. A few days ago, KNU-Thaton District blew up half of the Kyone Ate Bridge between Thaton and Bilin on the Yangon-Mawlamyine road, and when civil departments and security forces came to inspect the damage to the bridge, they attacked again, killing at least one person and injuring dozens. A few weeks before the incident, KNU also blew up the Natthankwin Bridge built across the Sittaung River in Nyaunglebin Township, Bago Region. After the fighting broke out around Natthankwin, the KNU blew up the bridge.

Limiting the use of bridges and highways on these major trade routes may lead to higher freight costs and higher commodity prices for the people of the states and regions connected to these areas. Although the military council relies on the road for the supply of weapons, men, and food, it is true that most people rely on these roads for the transportation of goods to Yangon, the business capital of Myanmar, and many other areas. Night-time restrictions can cause freight and passenger vehicles to take longer and cost more. On the other hand, the military council can use such incidents to portray the PDFs as subversives or insurgents who destroy roads and bridges.