Shan State Update: The National Ceasefire Accord Violated as Clashes Between Burma Army and RCSS Troops Echo in Central Shan State
8 November, 2016
Mung Kung Township, Shan State, Burma.
In the last month sporadic fighting in two separate incidents was reported in Central Shan State between the Burma Army and the Shan State Army-South (SSA-S). The clashes were deliberate actions by the Burma military and corresponded with the deployment and rotation of two separate Burma Army infantry battalions in the region. The attacks came within the first anniversary of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), which was signed October 15th, 2015.
The attacks caused thousands of people in the region to flee, with rangers reporting over 2,000 people displaced and living in nearby IDP camps.
October 4th Attack by Burma Army IB 292
On October 4th, 2016, soldiers of Burma Army Infantry Battalion (IB) 292, Mae Jo Sai Sam Company from Nong Ow Village descended upon Pong Pao Village, Mung Kung Township, and opened fire on Shan State Army-South soldiers there. Their target appeared to be a drug rehabilitation facility used by the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and SSA-S personnel to help local users of heroin and methamphetamines reduce their dependence on drugs. The reasons for the attack remain unclear, however, all of the drug users who were at the facility have since fled the area. The region is known for its heavy drug production by both local and foreign (Chinese) criminal enterprises. The RCSS was also conducting a drug eradication campaign in the nearby area.
The clashes continued that day and the following, moving from Pong Pao to the nearby village of Tong Lao.
October 11th Attack by Burma Army IB 422
On October 11th, Burma Army IB 422 attacked two separate SSA-S positions at Bang Suk and Bang Poi in Mung Kung township. The clashes lasted a little over five minutes without any casualties.
IB 422 had entered the area from Taunggyi on October 8th and 9th to replace IB 292, who conducted the attacks on October 4th.