Thursday, 14 November 2019

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Palpable tension between Burmese Army and Kokant rebels

New Delhi (Mizzima) –Tension flared between the Burmese Army and the Kokant ethnic ceasefire group, following a stand-off for about five hours between the two sides near the Sino-Burma border on Saturday.

Aung Kyaw Zaw, an analyst based on the Sino-Burma border said, the two sides were locked in a stand-off when the Kokant soldiers met about 70 Burmese soldiers, who were on their way to a surprise raid on the residence of Peng Jiasheng, Chairman of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), in Laogai Township in Kokant Special Region in northern Shan state.

The Burmese troops, under the north-eastern regional command along with personnel of the Special Branch of the Police (Narcotic) were blocked by around 300 Kokant rebels on their way to the home of Peng Jiasheng also known as Phone Kyar Shin.

“The stand off lasted several hours but both sides held their fire. When Phone Kyar Shin threatened that his troops would open fire, the Burmese soldiers backed off,” Aung Kyaw Zaw said.

Aung Kyaw Zaw said following the incident, Maj. Gen Aung Than Htut, the north-eastern regional commander on Sunday tried to meet Phone Kyar Shin, but the MNDAA Chairman refused to meet him.

The MNDAA is one of the groups that had refused to accept the Burmese junta’s proposal of transforming their army into a Border Guard Force, which will be administered by the Burmese Army.

Reports suggest that several Kokant ethnic villagers have fled to the China border, as they feared fresh clashes between the Burmese Army and the MNDAA on Saturday.

“But now, some of them have returned home though some are still waiting for the condition to normalise,” Aung Kyaw Zaw said.


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