RCSS Releases Eight Detained Villagers

Four more villagers from Mangli remain unaccounted for.


Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) released eight civilians on Friday who had been reported missing from Mangli village in northern Shan State since clashes broke out with the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in the first days of March.

Twelve villagers were reported missing from Mangli, located in Namtu Township around March 2, after fighting between the TNLA and RCSS/SSA broke out around the Hsipaw-Namtu road. Four remain unaccounted for.

“They were released today—eight villagers were released today,” Lway Poe Kamay Chop, the general secretary of the Ta’ang Women’s Organiation and a member of the Free Mangli Villagers Committee told NMG. “The remaining four villagers are not in their hands—they told us this,” she added, referring to the RCSS/SSA.

Ko Myo, who works in the area with the social outreach group Volunteers Without Border, confirmed the release of the villagers.

“I am really happy that their release was done peacefully,” Ko Myo said.

It reportedly took four negotiation meetings for the RCSS/SSA to release the detainees, Lway Poe Kamay Chop explained. Engaging in the negotiations with the Shan armed group were the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, Ta’ang National Party, the Ta’ang Literature and Culture Committee, the Shan Literature and Culture Committee, representatives from Ta’ang student and youth organizations and village administrators from Mangli and Panglong, as well as family members of the missing villagers.

The Free Mangli Villagers Committee has promised to continue looking for the remaining four missing civilians.