Fighting In Shan State Persists

Network Media Group

January 5, 2019

Conflict between rival groups continues to create pandemonium for villagers in northern Shan State.

Artillery shelling and gunfire from clashes between armed groups, starting on New Year’s Eve, could still be heard by civilians taking refuge in a Buddhist monastery, as fighting in northern Shan State continued into 2019.

U Sein Ton joined hundreds of others at the monastery in Namtu Township after clashes near his village, Mang Wah, forced him from his home.

More are still arriving he said. The day before yesterday, seven families arrived at the monastery located in Mangsan.

“At first, fighting happened near Ner Harng village, which is not far from Mangsan village. It then spread to Mang Wah,” said a villager taking shelter at the monastery.

Hundreds have been displaced by fighting between Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA).

Other villages affected by the clashes are Ner Ngu, Nawng Au, Ner Harng and Ner Keng.

With battles still breaking out, volunteers helping displaced villagers said it’s not safe for anyone to return home, stressing more support is needed to feed the growing numbers in need.

“We need food ration for the IDPs (internally displaced persons). There are over 500 IDPs we are taking care at the monastery,” said Sai Ba Nyan, a vice-chairman for a community based group in Namtu Township.

Another monastery is being prepared to accept villagers from Mang Wah. Shells recently landed in the village killing some cattle.

In the third week of December, fighting between Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army and RCSS/SSA in Hsipaw Township displaced thousands of civilians.