Monday, October 2, 2023

Clashes Intensify Between Burma Army and Northern Alliance in Kutkai Township

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The groups have engaged in a series of battles in northern Shan State, with the Tatmadaw reportedly sending in reinforcements.

Government forces—also known as the Tatmadaw—and the Northern Alliance of ethnic armed groups have engaged in a series of battles in northern Shan State’s Kutkai Township throughout the week.

Fighting has been unfolding since August 12, with the Tatmadaw bringing in reinforcement troops from its base in the township, according to locals in the area.

Shan Nationalities League for Democracy party secretary in nearby Hsipaw Sai Lao Seng told SHAN that farmers in northern Shan State have “faced many problems” due to increasingly common clashes between various armed forces and have not been able to tend to their farms and crops.

The Kutkai area is home to multiple armed groups. Government forces under Light Infantry Division 11 and 66 have been known to patrol the area, as well as members of the Northern Alliance including the Kachin Independence Army, the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army. The Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army also have a presence.

The Northern Alliance is a coalition of armed groups that have opted to not sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with Burma’s government and military. Tension has also recently escalated between its forces and NCA signatory Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army in Namtu Township, leading nearly 600 villagers to flee their homes as of Wednesday. They are now seeking shelter in monasteries.

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