SSPP, RCSS Abducting Villagers For Armies In Southern Shan State

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Communities live in fear of being forced to join armed Shan groups fighting over territory in southern Shan State.

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Wan Mai residents have been hiding in Panglong town to escape from Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) soldiers who want to capture youths and bolster their ranks, a man told SHAN on condition of anonymity.

“They are afraid of forced recruitment by the Shan armed groups. Some youths and children from Wan Mai slept in Panglong town last night (3 August) because they did not want to be taken away. Others have moved into the town.”

SSPP SSA and RCSS SSA
SSPP SSA and RCSS SSA

Although the SSPP soldiers have already arrived in the village, they have not yet started recruiting people, he said. But the armed group has abducted people from other areas of the state.

Both the SSPP and the Restoration Council of Shan State are recruiting soldiers from Panglong, Laikha and Mongkung townships in southern Shan State, forcing some of them to flee to neighbouring countries.

“Many young people have left the village. Some have taken shelter in town while others ran away to Thailand,” a Laikha resident has told SHAN, asking for her name to not be disclosed.

The SSPP maintain a presence in Panglong Township while SSPP soldiers are mostly based in Laikha Township.

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