A Burmese army unit has exchanged small arms fire with the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) in the southern Shan State township of Mong Pawn.
The incident happened at about 6am on Thursday, according to a resident in Loilem, who said the clash was between Burmese army Battalion 429 and RCSS/SSA troops near Nongle village, Pengjai tract, in Loilem District’s Mong Pawn Township.
“The RCSS/SSA is active in this area and is led by Maj. Muu Ni,” said the source. “In the past, fighting has broken out around here between the RCSS/SSA and the Pa-O armed group.”
No casualties have been reported.
Col. Sai La, a spokesperson for the RCSS/SSA – which is one of eight militias that signed a nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) with the previous Thein Sein government – said the fighting could affect the peace process. He claimed that hostilities are breaking out in many regions because the Tatmadaw [Burmese military] wishes to flex its muscles and create conflict across the country.
He explained that in order to solve issues of conflict, the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) must be involved at each and every level.
“When trust is broken, peace will also be destroyed,” he added.
At least five clashes have occurred between government forces and RCSS/SSA troops since the NCA was signed in October 2015.
On October 5, 2016, Shan Herald reported that Burmese army Battalion 292 had launched offensives against RCSS/SSA units in Wan Boi village, Tonglao village-tract, in southern Shan State’s Mong Kung Township, a site where the Shan group had set up a rehabilitation facility for local drug addicts. The fighting compelled more than 2,000 civilians in the area to flee their homes.
By Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)
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