BURMA: Tensions continue on the eastern front
The following article is reprinted with permission from Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.), Thailand.
Tensions continue on the eastern front
By Hseng Khio Fah
September 6, 2010
The ruling military junta last week started passing new instructions to its bases facing ceasefire groups: Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’, United Wa State Army (UWSA) and National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), to reinforce more troops and weapons when the groups rejected its latest deadline, 1 September, to disarm, according to sources from the Sino-Burma Border.
Any group that failed to surrender by the deadline will automatically become “an unlawful association.”
The latest reports say Burma Army troops in Shan State North’s Mongyai and Tangyan and Shan State South’s Monghsu facing the SSA ‘North’s First Brigade bases that has remained defiant to Naypyitaw, have already taken positions. Mongyai is located in the north of the First Brigade main bases, Tangyan in northeast and Monghsu in the east.
“They [Burma Army soldiers] have been patrolling in Namkart, north of Monghsu, Nampang creek and along the Salween River,” a source from the SSA said.
Following the junta’s reinforcements, some family members of the SSA fighters have also been leaving the bases.
Likewise, all junta personnel, NGOs and junta agencies working in the Wa and NDAA’s territories have returned to their home bases after they were ordered to evacuate the territories on 3 September, a Shan businessman from Panghsang said.
“All civil servants including Burma Army soldiers in Panghsang, Mongmai, Namteuk, Mongpawk, Mongphen, Wiangkao and Mongla have gone. No one remains in the areas,” he said.
“Now, the Wa authorities in Panghsang are considering whether to demolish all the buildings and build hotels and schools instead.”
Concerning the tensions, some Chinese security officials based along the border with Wa and NDAA commented that the military junta would not launch major operations in Panghsang and Mongla before the elections are over. But minor operations could take place in the SSA ‘North’ and in some areas along the Thai-Burma border.
“If there is an opportunity to take some bases by quick action, they may attack,” said an unidentified official.
Reports from the Thai-Burma border also say that Thai authorities based along the border are also conducting mocked evacuations for villagers for about two weeks up to date.