Tatmadaw troops dispatched to an area in northern Shan State’s Namkham Township along the China border allegedly got into a drunken brawl with each other after consuming alcohol, according to a spokesperson for the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA).
RCSS/SSA Lt-Col Sao Oum Khur said Burma Army soldiers, who started arguing on the evening of August 3, were shooting at each other by the afternoon of the following day. By the evening they were firing into the jungle. According to the spokesperson, there were no clashes between RCSS/SSA and Tatmadaw troops in the area.
Since early August, the Burma Army sent 400 soldiers from LID-88 and LID-77, as well as police officers, to Mang Hio sub-township in Muse Township close to a RCSS/SSA brigade-701 base camp, according to Sao Oum Khur.
A LID-88 battalion commander and a police commander in a vehicle were attacked by soldiers from LID-77. Sai Aung, who is a township resident, said there was a casualty but didn’t offer details, except that the car they were driving was destroyed during the attack.
During the spat between the Burma Army, a civilian was shot and homes and vehicles sustained damages. After hearing the sounds of gunfire, villagers seeking safety, crossed into China. The infighting drew the attention of Chinese soldiers, who were sent to the border to keep watch.
The RCSS/SSA and Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), who both maintain soldiers in the area, have been careful to avoid a confrontation with the Tatmadaw troops.
The RCSS/SSA signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in 2015. It plans to attend the fourth 21st Century Panglong Conference from August 19-21. The peace conference, delayed since last year, will be attended by high-ranking Tatmadaw leaders.