Shelling between ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) forced thousands of civilians from their homes in Mong Kung Township. A fifty-year-old told SHAN that everyone fled after shells landed next to their village.
Over 2,000 civilians from more than 15 villages fled the conflict between the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) in the southern township. Some have stayed in Buddhist monasteries and a school in Wam Huay Lon village tract since Sunday, July 11, while others fled violence on Tuesday.
“They experienced Burma Army’s Four Cuts operation in the past, which is why they are concerned about their safety,” a male volunteer explained.
Four Cuts is a counter-insurgency strategy to prevent ethnic armed organisations access to food, funds, information and recruitment. In Shan State, from ’96-’98, about 400,000 people from 1,800 villages fled after the military burned many villages to the ground.
According to the volunteer, there is not enough space for everyone at the four camps in Wam Huay Lon village tract. Another volunteer helping them told SHAN it is difficult to determine how many are affected by the violence because more are arriving every day. They need food, mosquito nets, candles and warm blankets and clothing for the children.
Clashes between the rival Shan EAOs has affected an additional 3,000 villagers on Loi Hung mountain in Kehsi Township, located 63km northeast of Mong Kung. Two civilians were killed in the area.
In Mong Ngor sub township, Kyaukme Township, fighting between RCSS and combined forces SSPP and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) uprooted 1,000 villagers. Since the beginning of the month, SSPP and TNLA have been attacking RCSS in Tawt San village tract located in the sub township.
In a statement last week, RCSS called for negotiations with all stakeholders to end the conflict in Shan State.
Buddhist monks and Shan community have long pleaded with the EAOs to stop the fighting causing enormous suffering for the civilian population.