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IMMINENT WARNING: THREAT OF HEAVY FIGHTING AS THE BROTHERHOOD ALLIANCE MARCH TOWARD LAUKKAI CAPITAL

November 25, 2023

Magdalena Breyer, Victoria Valová, Vivan Negi, Chloe Woodbine, PACOM Team

Christina Valdez, Editor; Evan Beachler, Senior Editor


Laukkai District, Myanmar[1]


Event: On November 24, the Brotherhood Alliance began marching towards Laukkai Town, the capital of the Kokang Self-Administered Zone in northern Shan State, Myanmar.[2] This movement by the coalition between the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), the Arakan Army (AA), and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) follows their seizure of the junta’s last military bases southwest of Laukkai Town. The Brotherhood Alliance claims to have seized over 180 junta military bases since the start of “Operation 1027” on October 27, which aims to reclaim control over the Kokang region from Myanmar’s military forces. For decades, there has been persistent conflict between the Myanmar junta and ethnic Kokang as they fight for control over the region. The march towards Laukkai Town represents a significant escalation of the conflict, with a high potential for armed clashes between the junta and the Brotherhood Alliance for control over the capital.


Significance: The Brotherhood Alliance’s advance on Laukkai Town will almost certainly lead to intense fighting with Myanmar’s military forces, given the strategic importance of the capital in controlling the Kokang region. The junta will almost certainly mobilize its resources to maintain control over Laukkai, very likely conducting air strikes to fight back against the Brotherhood Alliance. Civilian casualties are very likely to increase as it is very unlikely that the junta will try to avoid civilian casualties based on past actions.


The Brotherhood Alliance will very likely attempt to dismantle scam centers and illegal casinos that target Chinese nationals to solidify Chinese support for Operation 1027 against the junta. By protecting Chinese nationals and interests, the Brotherhood Alliance likely seeks to present itself positively to the Chinese government and the public. This alignment of interests will likely manifest in China’s diplomatic, political, and material support to the Brotherhood Alliance’s cause against the junta.

Recommendations

  • The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) recommends that the residents of Laukkai Town exercise caution by remaining indoors or relocating towards Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar. This measure aims to mitigate the risks of being caught in the crossfire during potential clashes between junta forces and the Brotherhood Alliance.

  • CTG recommends that Burmese citizens and foreign nationals avoid the Kokang region, where heavy fighting is likely, to reduce the risk of being caught in the crossfire.

  • CTG recommends that foreign embassies advise their citizens to evacuate Laukkai Town and the broader Kokang region. Foreign nationals should contact their embassy officials if they believe they are in potential danger.

  • CTG recommends that the junta government actively collaborate with other countries to maintain diplomatic relations and establish diplomatic channels to ensure the safety and return of individuals stranded in Laukkai Town and the Kokang region.

  • CTG recommends that the junta troops increase their presence near the remaining military outposts in and around Laukkai Town to prevent the Brotherhood Alliance attacks.

  • CTG recommends that the UN Security Council vote to pass a security resolution addressing the clashes between the Brotherhood Alliance and the junta forces to de-escalate tensions and end all forms of violence in Myanmar.

  • CTG recommends that human rights organizations monitor for potential crimes against humanity carried out by the junta.

  • If there is any additional and or critical information please contact us at The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) by Telephone 202-643-2848 or email info@counterterrorismgroup.com.

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[2] Brotherhood Alliance Marching Towards Capital of Myanmar’s Kokang Region, The Irrawaddy, November 2023, https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/brotherhood-alliance-marching-towards-capital-of-myanmars-kokang-region.html

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