The Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), which is embroiled in a conflict with several ethnic armed organisations (EAO) in the Northern Alliance, said that fighting won’t “solve political problems, it will cause more”.
Everyone will suffer if the violence between RCSS and combined forces Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) and Ta’ang National Liberation Army continues, RCSS said in a recent statement, claiming it is “defending” itself in Shan State.
“We can find a peaceful solution with dialogue. We can not solve this problem using (our) armed forces,” Maj Kham San, RCSS spokesperson, told SHAN.
An end to the fighting has been something Shan leaders and civil society groups have long demanded. They have been asking rival EAOs to sit down for negotiations. The violence has displaced thousands civilians and killed and maimed many civilians. Dozens of homes were destroyed during shelling.
“Regardless of who wins this conflict, we want the two organisations (RCSS, SSPP) to consider it is the people who will lose everything. They need to solve this problem before it becomes an even bigger issue,” said Sai Nawnt, a volunteer helping internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Tawt San village tract, Kyaukme Township.
Since the military took over the country, the fighting displaced over 3,000 villagers. Currently, violence has been breaking out between RCSS and SSPP in Kyaukme Township, in northern Shan State, and in the south in Kehsi Township.
Many villagers displaced by previous clashes between RCSS and TNLA in Namtu and Hsipaw Townships, in northern Shan State, still cannot go home.