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Karen army takes over Burmese military base along Thai-Myanmar border



Photo via Facebook/ Karen Information Centre

A military base in Myanmar near the Thai border was reportedly taken over by an ethnic army. Since the February 1 military coup in Myanmar, ousting the country’s democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, an estimated 750 protesters and civilians have been killed by security forces, leading to clashes with ethnic armies.

Many ethnic armies support the anti-coup movement, including the Karen National Union which has had clashes with the Myanmar military for the past few weeks. Numerous ethnic armies control around a third of Myanmar’s territory, primarily along the country’s borders.

Early this morning, a fight broke out in the Karen state by the Salween River, along the Thai-Myanmar border. The battle was so close that some in Thailand could hear the gunshots and explosions from the neighbouring country.

The head of foreign affairs for the union told AFP reports that its “troops captured the Burmese military camp” near the border of Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province. The fights took place around 5am this morning… An ethnic Karen and longtime resident in the province’s Mae Sam Laep district told reporters that she could hear the gunshots.

“We could hear from the other side, we could hear the bullets… We saw five or six Burmese soldiers run down to the river and then we saw KNU shoot them but it was very dark.”

The Karen army overran a military base last month, but the country’s junta later fought back at night with airstrikes. Luckily, many villagers fled the area once the fighting started. Around 2,000 have sought refuge in Thailand. More than 24,000 civilians in the Karen state have been displaced in recent weeks as the conflict between the ethnic army and the junta intensifies.



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  1. Steve369.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    UN unfortunately doesn’t care and it seems that neither do the ASEAN.

  2. Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    Good, now if they could have an uprising in the Kachin territory, and the Shans, and Arakan Army starts trouble for the Myanmar military, they could march on Rangoon and hang Min Aung Hlaing from a lamp post.
    However the situation is similar to the one in the desert with the Arab tribes against the Turks. They would not work together until Lawrence arrived and bribed them to work together.

  3. Niko

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    @Toby Andrews – Doesn´t the burmese army has more than 400k soldiers? 5/6 soldiers siting on a few huts is hardly a base, an outpost maybe and it is possible they already left and this was just for show.

    March into Rangoon?

    That´s not the military center for many years The headquaters was moved to the center long ago so they could be close to the border regions. If they were afraid of being overun they would stay in Yangon

    It seems they were much more afraid of being attacked from the sea of falling for some urban rebelion that would paralize the state.

    It seems they were not wrong because a few years after the move a so called uprising happened in 2007, then a mysterious hurricane in 2008 and now this 2 months of riots most of it concentrated on the ancient capital.

    As for the so called rebels joining forces you can find on youtube lots of videos of rebels claiming to be “joining forces” not now but 6, 9 and even 10 years ago!

  4. Comicus

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    @Tony Andrews

    If you have read the history of these people’s conflicts which has been going for hundred of years, you would have said that once the rebels reached the central part of the country, we shall see rivers of Myanmars’ blood. They are all different tribes and they would kill Myanmars and the other tribes as well.

    On top of that, if you were in the area, they would kill you without any hesitation. You and many others simply have no clues. Your Western values have no value in Asia. Your believe in Democracy, fairness, justice etc have no meanings whatsoever. For example, Thai hookers mainly married Farangs for money, not for love. They are not in anything except money.

    Encouraging unarmed people to go against an army is stupid, especially against army generals who have no need to answer to anyone, particularly the West. The current World situation is not the same as decades ago, if the West wants to survive on-going crises, the willingness to learn and to change is a must. Unfortunately, the West is too proud to accept the fact that they need to improve themselves.

    On the other hand, the East, Africa and many other countries on this little rock had enough of the West. It is going to be quite interesting to watch the situation over the next 5 – 10 years. It is expected that there are going to be many proud-and-poor Western countries.

  5. Simon Small

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    “However the situation is similar to the one in the desert with the Arab tribes against the Turks.”

    It’s nothing remotely like it. The Turks were foreigners, like the Russians in Afghanistan and the US coalitions in Iraq. The Burmese are not.

  6. Niko

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    @Comicus – True and many of these so called “values” are just exercises of hypocrisy and other peoples or at least their leaders can see that.

    As for the rebels or to be more specific the ones that live close to Thailand (the Karens) marching toward the capital is ridiculous, they don´t have numbers or resources for that.

    There is like 1,5million karens with 90% being Buddhists besides there is a significant number of mixing between karens and Burmese, so they are not “natural enemies” at all unlike you could say the rognias that are Islamic and Bengali origin.

    Just a personal anecdote on facebook I have added years ago many Burmese “friends” that work mainly in Singapore and they come from different ethnic groups but many of them are mixed mainly the mother being Karen and father Burmese. I see many posting things against the Burmese army but none of them wants to create a “karen country” and they consider Myanmar their country and all of them love Ms sukye off course.

  7. Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    @Comicus – What has Thai prostitution to do with the matter? And East Africa?
    Tribal conflicts have not been going on for hundreds of years – you’re making it up.
    They has been some conflicts since 1948, before that, nobody know. Where are your sources?
    “Encouraging unarmed people to go against the military” you write. End of your bullshit.
    THEY are not unarmed. Your post is waffle and none sense.
    And then you go into a long critic of the West!!
    These tribes will fight. The Kachins killed 2000 Japanese during WW2.

  8. Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 11:45 pm

    @Niko –
    Out in the jungles and spaces of Myanmar are well armed armies, The Arakan army 7000 troops. What could they do in the jungles safe from air attack?
    Kachin Army 10.000, Shan state Army 8000. Plus many more.
    Look at what trouble the Thai army, 360.850, are having with the separatists in the south of Thailand. How many rebels are there, a 1000? Yet they cannot be beaten. In 20 years!
    If the ethnic armies in Myanmar fought together against the Myanmar army they could take over the country.

  9. Cominus

    Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 2:24 am

    You are absolutely right. However, if all rebels, not just Karen, could combine their fire power, they could achieve something. Of course, in the real battle, there are many factors that could contribute to an outcome of the battles.

    Also, Karens and Myanmars had their own kingdom in the past and Karens lost their kingdom to Myanmar.

    Anyway, one of the key points is the duration of their ongoing conflict which definitely is going to continue for a long time. A very interesting subject to keep monitor and analyse.

  10. Comicus

    Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 2:50 am

    @Toby Andrews
    Your reply gave an indication that you are quite a compassionate and courageous person.

    Reading and comprehension are necessary skills so it is highly recommended to one who still lack of them.

    The psychology data that was collected on the web sites so far was quite valuable, especially in regards of emotion. However, an assistant of mine nearly finishes end of financial year reports and can focus with the compilation of the collected data shortly. So Comicus shall not post any further comments. It is my hope that the name “Comicus” gave a clue or two away.

    Take care and good luck, everyone.

  11. curiosity

    Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 8:18 am

    An army of Karens. I thought zombies were bad.

  12. Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    Small Simon the Arab revolt was very similar. This was an uprising of Arab tribes, called the Arab Revolt.
    The only difference was that the occupying armies were foreigners.

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