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REGIME WATCH > TATMADAW DEPUTY COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF
 
Vice-Senior General Soe Win
Tatmadaw Deputy Commander-in-Chief
 
Vice-Senior General Soe Win is the Tatmadaw Deputy Commander-in-Chief and a member of the National Defense and Security Council (NDSC). In May 2012, President Thein Sein appointed him to the working committee of the regime’s team responsible for negotiating with Burma’s ethnic armed groups. Soe Win is close to former SPDC Vice Sr Gen Maung Aye.

Soe Win graduated from the 22nd intake of the Defense Services Academy (DSA) in 1980. In June 2008, he became Northern Regional Command Commander. In August 2010, he became Chief of the Bureau of Special Operations-6 (BSO-6), which oversees military affairs in Arakan and Chin States and Magwe Division.

As Northern Regional Command Commander from 2008-2010, Soe Win was involved in numerous cases of corruption and extortion. In particular, he received bribes from companies dealing in jade, timber, and gold in exchange for mining concessions. In one case, he accepted a 150 million kyat (US$149,254) bribe from a group of Chinese teak businessmen in China’s Yunnan Province in exchange for allowing illegal teak trade on the Sino-Burma border. In March 2010, he ordered Tatmadaw soldiers in Hpakant, Kachin State, to collect funds from jade mining companies.

During his tenure as Northern Regional Command Commander, Soe Win also pressured the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) to join the Border Guard Force (BGF) under the control of the Tatmadaw. Despite numerous meetings between July 2009 and August 2010, Soe Win failed to persuade the KIA to accept the regime’s BGF scheme.

Soe Win was also a staunch supporter of the Myitsone dam project in Kachin State. In March 2010, he held meetings with local Christian leaders urging them not to oppose the construction of the US$3.6 billion dam. In May 2010, Soe Win announced a five million kyat (US$5,102) reward for information leading to the capture of those responsible for the 17 April serial bomb blasts near the Myitsone dam construction site.

As Deputy-Commander-in-Chief, Soe Win remained involved in overseeing the Tatmadaw’s military operations against the KIA. Despite widespread evidence of Tatmadaw attacks against the KIA, in September 2011, Soe Win said that the regime had not launched any offensive against the Kachin armed group.

 
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