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To: reg.burma@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 1996 14:27:33 +0000
Subject: Hungry Burmese Troops Quit Army
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Organization: Forum for Democracy and Human Rights


HUNGRY BURMESE TROOPS QUIT ARMY

Bangkok, Jan. 18: About 20 Burmese  Government 
soldiers have deserted a stalled campaign against the 
Karenni ethnic group in the country's eastern Kayah 
State due to a lack of food, a Karenni source said on 
Thursday.
   "There is a problem now with the Burmese Army, 
they don't have  enough food (in the area)," the source 
said by telephone from the Thai province of Mae 
Mong Son , opposite Kayah State.
   Two or three of the deserters surrendered to a Thai 
border post and told the border police that there was 
not enough food for the estimated 4,000 government 
soldiers in Kayah State, the source said.
   The report could not be immediately confirmed with 
the Thai border police.
   Karenni militants were attacking government supply 
lines overland from the Kayah State capital of Loikaw, 
but lacked the heavier weapons needed to stop helicopter 
loads of equipment and food from the headquarters of 
Khun Sa's Mong Tai Army.
   Khun Sa, the opium warlord and ethnic Shan independence 
movement leader, has either surrendered or made a deal to 
turn the MTA into a local militia loyal to Rangoon in the 
Shan state just north of Kayah State, according to 
conflicting reports.
   The Karenni source feared that Burmese government troops 
would replace MTA forces on Ho Haa Hill, in Shan State 
near the border with Thailand and Burma's Kayah State, 
exporting both to Burmese mortar fire.   (AFP)