Fighting Intensifies in Northern Shan State

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Fighting between the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in northern Shan State broke out at 6 pm this Monday, January 4. 

War Victims at Kyautmae by Aum Tamao
War Victims at Kyautmae by Aum Tamao

Maj Kham San, RCSS spokesperson, told SHAN that they fought Ta’ang soldiers in Tawt San Ywa Ma village, Kyaukme Township. Both groups have sent in reinforcement troops. 

The RCSS spokesperson said there’s already been five incidents of fighting in January. The Shan ethnic armed organization (EAO) counted eleven clashes in December.

A civilian told SHAN that villagers were hiding in their houses when the evening battle erupted today. He heard that both sides suffered casualties. 

SHAN couldn’t reach the TNLA spokesperson for comment today. But the Ta’ang EAO recently reported fighting with RCSS at Namtu, Hsipaw and Kyaukme townships on January 1. 

Villagers told SHAN there was fighting near Kun Hauk village, in Hispaw Township, and in Namtu Township on January 2. 

Violence between the EAOs resumed at the beginning of December and nearly one-thousand villagers remain displaced by the conflict. At least three women, one of which is pregnant, and a male teenager were wounded during clashes that broke out on December 10.

After the RCSS signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with the government and Burma Army in late 2015, hostilities began with TNLA in northern Shan State.

The TNLA is not a signatory to NCA but there’s been discussions about reviving negotiations on a bilateral ceasefire agreement with the government along with other member groups from the Northern Alliance. 

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