Civilians flee as clashes between RCSS/SSA and TNLA continue

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Hundreds of villagers in northern Shan State’s Namtu Township have reportedly fled their homes due to ongoing armed clashes between the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA).

Some children who fled the fighting on July 4, now staying at a temple Namtu Township

According to Sai Ba Nyan, the vice-chairman of the local aid committee in Namtu, some 300 local residents evacuated their homes on July 4 due to the proximity of the fighting. He said that the first group of evacuees arrived in Namtu town at about 10am. They are now sheltering at the Pauk Par Yong Buddhist temple.

“Most [villagers] came by foot but some came on motorbike,” he said. “We also arranged some cars to pick them up when they arrived near the town.”

He added that they were 78 households in the hamlets of Panglor, Pangthang and Nong Kong Loi, close to where the conflict was taking place. More than 500 villagers are not camped out at makeshift shelters in Namtu and in temple compounds.

Local aid worker Sai Ba Nyan said that the evacuees are being supported by local community organizations such as the Shan and Ta’ang literature groups, as well as the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

Fighting between RCSS/SSA and TNLA troops broke out in November 2015, just over a month after the RCSS/SSA had joined with seven other armed groups in signing a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with the government. TNLA was excluded by the government from the NCA and the peace process at large.

By Shan Herald Agency for News

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