The Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and the Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) engaged in a fierce firefight on Monday, 23 August, displacing as many as 100 villagers in Hsipaw Township.
“We can still hear gunshots,” said a local. He told SHAN, that rival ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) were fighting in central Shan State near Kong Kaw village, with clashes starting at around 6am. Villagers from the area sought refuge in Namlan town, Hsipaw Township, and Pang Lant Buddhist monastery, Mong Kung Township.
Another source helping villagers at the monastery said they needed food and plastic sheets to protect themselves from the rain.
According to a report by RCSS, the EAO also clashed with SSPP near the villages of Kong Hser, Kawng Hert, Mang Kawng, Hkine Ann and Hkine Hsin on Monday with clashes lasting up to nearly six hours.
The beleaguered villagers want the Shan EAOs to begin dialogue to end the conflict that’s raged continuously in the area since early June, killing and injuring civilians and displacing more. They are facing economic ruin after fighting prevented them from working in their rice fields for several months.