Civilians in southern Shan State are on the run after the regime began sending soldiers around Sa Nane Mountain in Panglong Township, where the Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) has a camp. Burma Army (BA) troops have been advancing into the area in Loilem District since late March.
”Although there are no clashes in the area, some who are afraid have fled to their relatives in Panglong town or other areas,” a local man told SHAN, wishing to remain anonymous. He said BA soldiers arrived in Loi Mong, Loi Mai and Pan Pweser, all at the foot of the mountain and not far from SSPP soldiers.
People from Pan Hu and Sa Nane village tracts have left their farms during the planting season.
“About 300 BA soldiers arrived here yesterday, but there has been no fighting between the regime and the SSPP until today. I think they are watching what is happening on the ground because the BA and the SSPP troops are very close but have not fired yet,” a village headman, who wishes to remain anonymous, told SHAN. If villagers wanted to come home to work on their farms, they could do so, he said, as there was no violence at the moment.
In March, the regime’s National Solidarity and Peace Negotiation Committee, headed by Gen Yar Pyae, met with a delegation from the SSPP, led by its second vice chair Sao Khun Hseng, in Burma’s capital Naypyitaw. The SSPP was told to withdraw from Sanin Mountain, but the ethnic armed group, which is fighting with the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), has refused to leave southern Shan State.