Tatmadaw Fight With TNLA After Announcing Unilateral Ceasefire

By Network Media Group
Friday, May 15, 2020

Days after declaring a unilateral ceasefire in most of the country, the Tatmadaw clashed with the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in northern Shan State.

Maj Mai Aik Kyaw, who is in charge of the TNLA information department, told NMG that fighting on Wednesday happened after the Burma Army launched an offensive. It was the first time the groups clashed since the government introduced the ceasefire on May 10.

Mai Aik Kyaw said they fought with Burma army’s IB-71 and IB-148 in Mogok township, located in Mandalay Region. “While our troops were stationed in Howeik, the Burma Army attacked us from Kyaung Kham and we fought for about 10 minutes.”

Before this, the groups last clashed on May 4 and 5 in Mangton and Namkham townships, he said.

The Burma Army didn’t report the latest fighting on its website.

Mai Aik Kyaw said military tensions between the Tatmadaw and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) are also high in Kokang. The MNDAA is a member of the Brotherhoods Alliance, which includes the TNLA and the Arakan Army (AA). The AA is fighting the Burma Army in northern Rakhine State and southern Chin State.

The KNU Concerned Group, started by former Karen National Union Chairperson Zipporah Sein, said the Tatmadaw intentionally excluded Rakhine State and Chin State in its unilateral ceasefire to focus attention on fighting AA.

Mai Aik Kyaw said the Brotherhoods Alliance fought with the Tatmadaw in areas controlled by the TNLA and in Kokang. “The Burma Army hasn’t stopped its military offensive on the ground. They are doing as they usually do.” He said the alliance is trying to avoid fighting during the pandemic but don’t have a choice when the Tatmadaw attack their soldiers.

In a statement it released on May 10, the same day the Tatmadaw declared its unilateral ceasefire, the Brotherhoods Alliance called for a nationwide ceasefire to take precautions against the coronavirus in its communities. The alliance also announced its own unilateral ceasefire from May 3 to 31.