The Junta and resistance battle for control over strategic Mobye

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Resistance forces view their tussle with the Junta to gain control over the town of Mobye (Mongpai) as vital strategic target and logistical hub situated between Karenni (Kayah) State and Shan State.

A spokesperson of the Buffalo Horn Column of the People’s Defense Force – Mobye (PDF-Mobye) asserted, “We cannot afford to lose Mobye under any circumstances. Our objective is to seize and assume control of the town at all costs. No matter what, we need to control Mobye”.

Despite being geographically located within Shan State, Mobye holds significant strategic importance for both sides due to its connection to crucial logistics routes leading to the vital townships of Demoso and Loikaw in Karenni State. As it lies a mere 65 miles away from Naypyidaw, the capital, this also increases its strategic importance.

The Military Council is currently attempting to cut off all food supplies to the displaced people seeking refuge in Mobye, while also endeavoring to gain control over the town. Simultaneously they are utilizing Mobye’s primary road to reinforce their troops, and facilitate the transportation of weapons and ammunition. Thus it is crucial for the revolutionary forces to exert complete control over Mobye to counteract these actions, the spokesperson of the Buffalo Horn Column explained.

He added, “Mobye’s strategic position between Loikaw and Pekon, along with its location on a major trade route, holds significant importance. The town’s connection to the Union Highway further establishes it as a vital communication route for Demoso and the western side. Disrupting this route would undoubtedly pose significant challenges for Demoso and its surrounding areas. This is why the Military Council persists in its attempts to block these logistical routes and continues to target Mobye. Their relentless attacks on the town may be driven by this strategic objective”, he added.

The resistance forces have reported the presence of three Military Council columns in the vicinity of Mobye, each consisting of a minimum of 80 soldiers. These columns are currently deployed and actively engaged in operations in the area.

The Military Council forces presence in Mobye comprises the 422nd Light Infantry Regiment stationed in Mobye, along with the Pa-O National Organization (PNO) militia. Additionally battalions from the 66th Division are also involved in operations in the area.

Following the coup, the Military Council made persistent attempts to establish complete control over Mobye, leading to frequent clashes and skirmishes with the joint resistance forces.

Colonel Bhone Naing, the adjutant general of the Karenni Army (KA) commented that, “The Military Council appears to be concerned about the proximity of Mobye to Naypyidaw. Given that Mobye and Naypyidaw are situated directly along the road, it is likely that they are hastily deploying reinforcements. It is our utmost priority along with the PDF, to fight tirelessly to ensure that Mobye remains under our control”, said

Starting from the final week of May, the Military Council has been indiscriminately bombarding the downtown neighborhoods of Mobye on a daily basis, resulting in the tragic loss of civilian lives. A resident of Mobye expressed concern, mentioning that while many locals have sought shelter in monasteries and other perceived safe locations, there are also individuals who are feared to be trapped amidst the ongoing conflict.

“In fact, Mobye has been no stranger to intense conflicts in the past. However, the current bout of fighting has reached unprecedented levels of intensity. The residents are now fleeing”, he said.

According to the spokesperson of the Buffalo Horn Column, the Military Council has currently stationed its forces in strategic locations within Mobye Township, namely Sattawyar Hill, Nyaungwine, Sikar ward No.2, and Warisuplai.

The resistance forces have issued a cautionary message to the people, urging them to prioritize their safety due to the high level of tension and the imminent possibility of fighting in Mobye.

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