The Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) has continued its forced recruitment programme in northern Shan State, abducting nearly 100 people from villages in Hsipaw Township, according to an eyewitness.
”They’re mainly abducting people of the Palaung (Ta’ang) ethnic group,” said the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals.
The armed group, which is fighting the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and the Burma Army in the region, snatched 70 people from the villages close to the town of Hsipaw at the end of August.
”I saw that some people were tied up with ropes,” she said, explaining that the TNLA soldiers didn’t take anyone from Hsipaw.
Another woman, who also declined to give her name, said villagers from Nyaung Koe Pin, Wan Mai, Kyaung Su and Nar Mon, which is near the town, were abducted to become soldiers. She said they had a list of the people they wanted.
An anonymous woman from Hsipaw town said: “We’re afraid of them and don’t go out of our house after 8 pm.”
Since last year’s coup, the various armed groups that are squabbling over territory in Shan State have stepped up their forced recruitment to bolster their ranks for battle.
The Shan State Progress Party has abducted villagers from Loilem District and the RCSS has grabbed people from Keng Tawng area. Both places are in the south of Shan State.