Myanmar Spring Chronicle – January 15 by MoeMaMa Media
KIA captures Nam Hpat Kar military camp; MNDAA starts its administration in the Kokang region
In a recent turn of events, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) has reportedly seized the Nam Hpat Kar military camp, marking a significant development in the ongoing conflict in northern Shan State. While a temporary ceasefire was declared between the military council and the 3 northern Brotherhood Alliances, clashes persist between the KIA and the military council. The confrontations are notably occurring in strategic locations like Hpakant, Wine Maw, Laiza in Kachin State, and areas such as Kutkai in Northern Shan State.
Amidst the continuous armed conflicts in the northern part of Shan State, the most noteworthy incident was the fighting around Nam Hpat Kar on December 30. Following the temporary ceasefire, there are reports suggesting that the KIA might have successfully captured the military council’s IB-123 base in Nam Hpat Kar, Kutkai Township. News sources on January 15 indicate that the KIA has achieved this significant milestone. Nam Hpat Kar, situated at the intersection of the China-Myanmar highway, witnessed the KIA’s assault and capture of the camp near the village.
Historically, Kutkai Township holds prominence in northern Shan State, inhabited by the Kachin people since ancient times. During British colonization, these areas were designated as the Kachin Sub-state due to the long-standing settlement of the Kachin people. As ethnic armed groups engage in offensives against the military council troops and vie for territorial control in northern Shan State, it becomes crucial to foster agreements and mutual understanding among these groups based on ethnic settlement patterns.
Numerous Kachin people reside in border areas like Monekoe in northern Shan State, where Kachin armed movements have been active. While it is natural for ethnic armed groups to govern territories inhabited by their ethnic communities post-capture, negotiations and understanding become pivotal when clashes occur in regions primarily occupied by a different ethnic group. This understanding holds particular significance in diverse regions like Northern Shan State.
Namhkam, a town bordering Kachin State in Shan State, has seen recent conflict dynamics. The Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) seized Namhkam from the military council’s control, leading to concerns among the Shan ethnic armed groups. Similar sentiments were reported when Kutkai fell under the control of the TNLA.
Given these circumstances, it appears reasonable to speculate that the KIA launched an attack on the military council camp in Nam Hpat Kar during the temporary ceasefire between the military council and the three northern armed groups.
Another noteworthy development is the initiation of administration by the Kokang armed group and the Kokang National Democratic Party in cities across the Kokang region, recently taken over in weeks and months. Reports suggest that the armed forces led by Peng Daxun, the son of Peng Kya-shin, founder of the Myanmar National Truth and Justice Party (MNTJP) and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), have gained control of the entire Kokang region and commenced administrative activities. News sources indicate the nullification of the martial law declaration imposed by the military council. Although a temporary ceasefire is in place between Peng Daxun’s Kokang armed group and the military council, concerns linger about the potential termination of the agreement. Despite the absence of current airstrikes, the Kokang group remains vigilant, taking steps to stabilize the situation by assuming administrative responsibilities.