By YING YING / SHAN
A village headman and his son were arrested by the Burma Army after government forces clashed with the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) in Mongton Township, eastern Shan State this week.
Combined forces from the three battalions under the Mong Hsat-based Military Operations Command 14 attacked an RCSS military camp near Mong Eis village on the morning of March 25. The Burma Army then detained the headman and his son, the RCSS confirmed.
“The son was released a few days later. His father still remains in custody as of today,” Lt-Col Oum Hkur, an RCS spokesperson, told SHAN. “Whenever a clash occurs, it’s the people who suffer first. Whether it’s the RCSS or the Tatmadaw, the people should be brave enough to complain to them if they have proof [of wrongdoing].”
Tension remains high but clashes are not ongoing in Mongton Township. Meanwhile, the Burma Army has been active in Kesi Township in southern Shan State, leading to fears that fighting could next erupt there, where the RCSS has a presence, too.
“The Burma Army has military movements in the Loi Don mountain area. They also have movements in the Loi Hon mountain range. It means there is no peace there. I can not predict when clashes will occur again,” Lt-Col Oum Hkur told SHAN.
The Burma Army attacked an RCSS military camp on Loi Don mountain in Ham Ngai village tract in Mong Kung Township in southern Shan State from February 27-March 3. The RCSS eventually withdrew from the camp.
Accoridng to Lt-Col Oum Hkur, while the RCSS wants to hold talks with the Burmese government and military, it is impossible to organize a meeting amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 .
The RCSS is signatory to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement with the government and military.