The Situation 6 Months After Operation 1027

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – April 24 Scenes
MoeMaKa, April 25, 2024

The Situation 6 Months After Operation 1027

As we approach the six-month mark following Operation 1027, where the 3 Brotherhood Alliance (comprising three northern ethnic armed groups) launched an offensive against military council troops, military bases, and highway checkpoints in northern Shan State on October 27, 2023, it is crucial to examine the changes in military balance, politics, economy, and power in Myanmar. Additionally, we must consider the changes in the conditions of people’s livelihoods and safety, and the international community’s focus on the Myanmar issue.

Many agree without controversy that the military balance has shifted dramatically since the start of Operation 1027. Post-October 27, numerous military council camps, bases, and headquarters like Regional Operations Commands (ROC) and Military Operations Commands (MOC) have been lost. Many high-ranking military generals, including Brigadier Generals, have fallen, surrendered, or been arrested in areas like the Kokang region bordering China, Ta’ang Palaung region, Kutkai, and Namhkam, where Shan, Palaung, and Kachin ethnic people live.

Ethnic armed forces, once considered capable only of guerrilla operations, have launched successful offensives to take over cities and strategic bases. They have captured military council bases and towns by blowing up bridges on reinforcement routes and intercepting supplies. Within 2 to 3 months of Operation 1027 in Northern Shan State, they captured over a hundred camps and a dozen towns. They seized Chinshwehaw, a central town for China-Myanmar border trade, and the 105-mile trade zone, halting operations at the Muse-Kyegaung border trade station.

Although Muse itself wasn’t captured, ethnic armed groups control towns and military camps along the China-Myanmar border trade route, leading to a standstill in border trade. The Kokang armed forces regained all their territories and even captured the bordering town of Hsenwi. Despite capturing Chinshwehaw, the Kokang region’s connectivity to the rest of the country has been severed, affecting border trade and tax collection.

The TNLA (Ta’ang National Liberation Army) exceeded expectations, capturing more territory, including border towns like Namhkam and military headquarters-based towns like Namhsan, as well as towns along the China-Myanmar trade route like Kutkai. TNLA now administers Namtu, Manton, Namhkam, Kutkai, Namhsan, and other areas. Other ethnic groups in these regions, such as Shan and Kachin, may prefer their own ethnic armed groups’ rule, but they were unable to contest TNLA’s rapid advances during Operation 1027.

The Arakan Army (AA), although not based in Northern Shan State, joined Operation 1027. They began attacking military camps and strategic positions in the Paletwa region at the Chin State-Rakhine State border and in Pauktaw near Sittwe. Within 3 to 4 months, AA captured several towns and appears poised to remove military council troops from Rakhine State. They are now trying to besiege the Southwestern Regional Military Command Headquarters in Ann.

Operation 1027 was halted by ceasefire talks in Kunming, China, indicating China’s reluctance for further conflict, territorial expansion, and risk to its investments. As operations in Northern Shan State slowed, the KIA (Kachin Independence Army) captured military council camps along the Myitkyina-Bhamo Highway Road, Mansi, Bhamo Township, Waingmaw, and the Hpakant area. With KIA’s assistance, towns like Kawlin and Mongmit were captured.

In Northern Shan State, Rakhine State, eastern Kachin State, and Hpakant, ethnic armed forces and PDF (People’s Defense Force) groups gained more territory. In Karen State, under KNU (Karen National Union) control, sporadic fighting occurred. On October 27, the same day Operation 1027 began, KNLA and PDF joint forces attacked Kawkareik but had to retreat after more than five months. However, they captured a strategic camp near Myawaddy at the end of March and early April.

Despite ongoing battles in various regions, the revolutionary forces were unable to capture the state capital in Karenni State, although they did capture Shadaw. In Chin State, local PDF forces seized Rihkhawdar and Khampat on the Indian border. There are potential plans to attack Kalay Town, the gateway to Chin State in Sagaing Division, but no battle has occurred yet.

The first armed conflict post-military coup occurred between PNLO/PNLA and Military Council/PNO/PNA in the Pa’O Autonomous Region in Southern Shan State. This battle spread within a month to towns like Hsihseng.

A new group, the New Mon State Party (Anti-Military Dictatorship), emerged and began attacking and capturing the village of Kawt Bein in Karen State, initiating conflicts with the military council in Mon State and Karen State.

Over the past six months, armed groups opposing the military council have exploited the council’s crisis by fighting on multiple fronts. Many military council troops, demoralized and surrounded, surrendered. Nationally, anti-dictatorship forces have achieved significant success, though towns, villages, and neighborhoods in battle zones have been destroyed, and many civilians have lost their lives.

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