KIA announces formation of new 6 Brigade

kia-soldiers-a1Interesting to note that the Kachin Independence Organisation/Kachin Independence Army has created a new brigade in northern Shan State. The move comes at a particularly disturbing time as the Restoration Council of Shan States (RCSS) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) continue to fight over territory. The KIA established its new 6th Brigade on 26 February 2016, in Mongbaw, Mongkoe and Phaunghsai, which were previously controlled by the Burmese Communist Party (BCP) in northern Shan State.

The reason for the new brigade is unclear but it is likely tied to the TNLA/RCSS conflict. The TNLA was trained and equipped by the KIA and have fought the Myanmar army alongside them. While this could be one reason the other, and more likely one, is that the KIA is taking the opportunity to further expand its own influence south.

Either way, we can expect more reports of the local population being conscripted into the new units and further taxation and other forms of extortion and abuse. As is often the case, the people once again lose.

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