Fighting between warring Shan armies starting over a month ago in southern Shan State forced a hundred more civilians from their homes as violence continued between Kehsi and Mong Nawng towns on the Loi Hung mountain.
“People afraid clashes will intensify are fleeing to Kehsi,” said a volunteer helping the internally displaced persons (IDP). The source explained they heard gunfire on Wednesday, June 30. Since May, there have been more than 1,000 IDPs in the town. The volunteer said they are running out of food and are short of personal items.
Meanwhile, both the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) have dispatched additional troops to the region. And rumours are spreading that United Wa State Army (UWSA) sent 2,000 soldiers in 107 trucks to assist SSPP in Kehsi Township.
According to the volunteer, some villagers heard SSPP soldiers speaking in Wa. “This is why many people are saying UWSA soldiers are assisting SSPP in the area.”
Despite the groups’ alliance, “UWSA didn’t come to help us during fighting on Loi Hung mountain,” SSPP spokesperson Maj Sai Phone Han said.
Nyi Rang, in charge of UWSA’s liaison office in Lashio Township, also denied the rumours. “Both RCSS and SSPP have Wa soldiers,” he said, explaining most of the EAOs draft soldiers from their controlled areas regardless of their ethnicity.