A 60-year-old man dies after being shot near his village after fighting breaks out between the RCSS and SSPP.
A 60-year-old man was killed in fighting between the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) and forces belonging to the Northern Alliance of ethnic armed organizations—including the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) on Saturday in northern Shan State’s Namtu Township.
The clashes occurred near Mongmu village, and military tension in the area persists, according to locals.
“The victim was Lon Ta Lane. He lived in Sang Hkar village. A bullet hit him in his rib. He was killed on the spot,” local Sai Kyaw, who is helping with Lon Ta Lane’s funeral services, told SHAN on Sunday.
Sai Kyaw explained that Lon Ta Lane and his 17-year-old grandson had traveled to Mangsan to buy noodles at the weekly market for a celebration at the local monastery. He was killed on the way back to his village.
“Sang Hkar village is next to Mongmu village, where the clashes occurred. A bullet hit him as they were returning home. His body was sent to Namtu hospital,” Sai Kyaw said.
Some 150 civilians have taken refuge in other Namtu villages due to frequent clashes.
The RCSS/SSA released a statement calling for an end to clashes with the SSPP/SSA on March 21.
SSPP/SSA leaders say they already gave orders to their soldiers to cease fighting in the area on March 19.
Despite the statements, locals say that both groups are reinforcing troop numbers in the area.
The Burmese government’s National Reconciliation and Peace Center met with eight ethnic armed organizations not signatory to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement in Naypyidaw on March 21. Yet civilians in northern Shan State say they are frustrated with the lack of results coming out of peace talks.
“Even though there are peace talks among the top leaders, in practice, clashes continue on the ground,” an internally displaced person from Mangsan told SHAN. “Civilians have been fleeing from the clashes. Many civilians are suffering a lot. We want these clashes to stop.”
The two Shan forces have fought in northern Shan State, reportedly over territorial disputes, since late 2018.