Fighting Continues Uninterrupted for Seven Days in Northern Shan State

By Network Media Group
Monday, October 12, 2020

The Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) clashed with the Burma Army over 20 times from October 2-8 in northern Shan State, Lt-Col Oum Khur, the ethnic armed organization’s (EAO) spokesperson told NMG.

Oum Khur said clashes intensified on October 8, with fighting breaking out at 3 locations in Loi Pan Kyan and Pu Hkar village-tracts. But that Tatmadaw didn’t send in its combat helicopters.

An anonymous source from Nam Khong Social Volunteer Team explained that fighting happened near Pon Wow, Ner Saung and Nam Maw Philu villages.

“Military columns are constantly entering the area. So I think clashes are likely to continue. We spotted many Burmese soldiers coming into the region. And I think many people will suffer.”

Oum Khur told NMG he heard that reinforcements were being sent from Hsipaw, Lashio, Muse, Kutkai, and also central Burma.

The two sides are standing off in Pan Kyan, Nawng Sin, Nawng Mo, Nam Hkaw, Pyaung Hkawng, Hkant Hkae, Kawng Hu, Loi Saung, Pu Hkar, Wan Nan, and Kon Tho village-tracts, all located in Kyaukme Township.

If the Burma Army is willing to negotiate, Oum Khur said the RCSS/SSA is open for discussions under the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), which the EAO signed in 2015.

“It seems like the Burma Army doesn’t respect NCA and that can impact our mutual trust. Whatever difficulties we face, we will follow the NCA. We’ve opened the door to negotiations…We’re ready to talk,” Oum Khur told NMG.

If the fighting continues, he said it could spread to urban centers.

The Burma Army accused the RCSS/SSA of expanding into northern Shan state from its base in the south, Oum Khur said, while noting that neither side had made a “concrete agreement” about demarcation.

According to chapter 3 of the NCA, stakeholders must discuss demarcation under the security sector reform section. Oum Khur explained that they repositioned their troops after these discussions happened.

The RCSS/SSA is one of the 10 EAOs that signed the NCA with the government and Burma Army.

No information about the clashes in Kyaukme Township were reported on the website of the Office of Commander-in-Chief.

The Burma Army extended its unilateral ceasefire across the country except in Rakhine State, where it is fighting with the Arakan Army (AA), which the government declared as a terrorist organization. In addition to fighting with RCSS/SSA in northern Shan State, Burma Army is also clashing with Ta’ang National Liberation Army, Kachin Independence Army and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army.