Civilians Uprooted By Fighting Between EAOs in Hsipaw And Kyaukme Townships

By Network Media Group
Saturday, July 24, 2021

Villagers fled clashes between Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) in northern Shan State.

During fighting in Hsipaw and Kyaukme townships on July 22, the rival Shan ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) used light and heavy weapons, a Shan MP from Hsipaw elected in the 2020 race told NMG.

Villagers from Sinpai village sought refuge at the Nawng Ann monastery in the village tract with the same name, in Hsipaw Township. A resident told NMG that everyone fled her village after fighting broke out from 6am-8am.

The same morning, SSPP and Ta’ang National Liberation Army clashed with RCSS near Nam Twae and Mer Moh villages, located between Kyaukme and Namhsan (aka Namsan) townships.

A volunteer told NMG that villagers informed him EAOs fired at least 10 rounds of artillery, and some of the shells landed near their villages. “During the fighting, villagers hid in their bunkers,” the volunteer said. They told him, for now, they didn’t need help and will stay in their village.

Fighting between EAOs in the area has been happening intermittently since June, with both sides standing off. Residents are afraid hostilities in the townships will increase after the violence broke out on Thursday.

NMG could not reach the EAOs’ spokespersons for their comments.

RCSS and SSPP are also fighting in Kehsi and Mong Kung townships in southern Shan State.