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BURMA: Military apologizes for attacking United Wa State Army (UWSA), claims they were seeking Shan State Army (SSA) ‘South’

April 25, 2010

The following article is reprinted with permission from Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.), Thailand.

Burma army shoots Wa
©  S.H.A.N.
By Hseng Khio Fah
April 25, 2010

Burmese military junta has begun to launch the military attacks on the United Wa State Army (UWSA), the 171st Military Region based along the Thai-Burma border in southern Shan State.

The first attack took place about 15 minutes long in the evening on 23 April, and the second attack occurred about 10 minutes, at yesterday’s morning at 10:00am.

Both of the attacks took place in Monghsat Township, Southeastern Shan State, opposite to Thai’s Mae Ai district, said a Wa leader who asked not to be named.

UWSA resisted by attacking back to the Burmese military. “They fired to us first, and we fired them back because we have to defend ourselves,” said a Wa officer.

A Wa leader said that there was no casualty on their side.

But the casualties on the Burmese Army’s side were not known.

Burmese army has shown that they were unaware of the troop that they attacked. “The fighting stopped when we spoke out [in the] Wa language”, a Wa officer said.

The Burmese army came to apologize to the UWSA that they have attacked on the wrong group which they thought it was the Shan State Army (SSA) ‘South’.

But the Wa leader said, it was unacceptable that the Burmese army were not aware of the troop they attacked.

“It is nonsense that they said it was the wrong attack. Their intention is to fire directly to us. And they also know that our troop have been spreading and moving around these areas for more than ten years.”

Wa believe that the Burmese attack was linked to the Border Guard Force (BGF) program for which the deadline was 22 April, and UWSA did not give any response except its latest 8 point counterproposals which was sent to Naypitaw on 3 April, but was turned down by the junta.

Followed by the Naypitaw’s BGF program, the war between the ceasefires groups and the Burmese junta can break out at anytime, said a Wa leader.

The Southern UWSA military based area, and also known as the 171st Military Region, is spreading along the Mongton and Tachilek townships in southern Shan State, opposite to Maehongson, Chiangmai and Chiangrai of Thailand.


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