Sunday, 17 November 2019

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Junta pulls civil servants out of Shan ceasefire area

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Burmese junta recalled government workers out of a ceasefire group’s area of control in northern Shan State amid rising tensions between ethnic forces and the Burmese Army, a source said over the weekend.

Dozens of doctors and teachers had left the villages Nam Ma and Mok Tawng in Mongyai Township, under the control of the 1st Brigade of the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N), a source in northern Shan State said. 

Furthermore, the Burmese Army called on a Border Guard Force (BGF) militia group to stand by for reinforcements in case fighting breaks out with 1st Brigade SSA-N.

The former 3rd Brigade of the SSA-N, now transformed into a BGF, was told it would be reinforced with Burmese junta troops.

However, Sao Hla Myint, the BGF group’s leader insisted that the whole unit might desert to rejoin the 1st Brigade because they have been sworn brothers in arms for decades.

Concurrently, the SSA-N’s 1st Brigade led by Major General Sao Pangfa (pictured in thumbnail on Mizzima front page) warned Burmese troops that any attempt to cross the Nam Ma River to the east would be shot.

A government newspaper labelled the ceasefire groups as criminals or troublemakers.

A Shan source, who requested anonymity, confirmed that “the Burmese Army did not recognise them as a ceasefire group but an outlaw association”.

The regime had also levelled similar accusations at the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO). A Kachin source said the junta had called the KIO “violators” and “insurgents”.

In September, three clashes took place between the 1st Brigade of SSA-N and Burmese troops after the group rejected Naypyidaw’s demand that it brings itself under junta command within a BGF.


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