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Kachin Defense Army
Participant in the Internal conflict in Myanmar
Active 1961 (1961)–January 2010 (2010-01)
Ideology Kachin nationalism
Leaders Mahtu Naw[1]
Headquarters Kawnghka, Shan State
Area of
Shan State
Strength 1,500[1]
Originated as Kachin Independence Army

Myanmar Government of Myanmar


Union of Myanmar (until 2011)
Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma (until 1988)

Union of Burma (until 1962)

Internal conflict in Myanmar

The Kachin Defense Army (Burmese language: ကချင်ကာကွယ်ရေးတပ်ဖွဲ့; abbreviated KDA) was an armed insurgent group that operated in northern Shan State, until its conversion into a border guard force in January 2010.[1]


The KDA was formerly the 4th brigade of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), until it split from its parent organisation, the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), and moved their headquarters to Kawnghka, Kutkai Township, Shan State.[1] After the Mong Tai Army disbanded, the KDA gained some of their abandoned territory.[2]

In 2010, the KDA accepted a proposal by the State Peace and Development Council, the then governing body of Myanmar, to transform into a "border guard force". The proposal was intended to bring security to local Kachin people under the KDA's governing, but instead led to the disarmament of 1,500 KDA members. The KDA surrendered their heavy weapons and mortars to the Northeastern Regional Command, in accordance to the "conversion process". The group was also split into two smaller factions, with 100 members in each group.[1]

See also


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