Renewed fighting erupts between Burma Army and SSPP/SSA in Mong Hsu

The Burmese armed forces clashed yesterday with troops from the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) in southern Shan State’s Mong Hsu Township.

“The fighting occurred because about 80 soldiers from the Burmese LIBs [Light Infantry Battalions] 520 and 521 advanced into our area. We have a military base in that part of Mong Hsu,” said Sai Pong Harn, the spokesperson of the SSPP/SSA.
Burmese LIB divisions 520 and 521 fall under Military Operations Command (MOC) 17, which is based in Mong Pan Township, Loilem District.

“The fighting lasted about 20 minutes, and soldiers on both sides were injured,” he said, but could not elaborate on whether any deaths had been reported.

Residents in Mong Hsu have expressed fears for their safety.

“We don’t want any more fighting,” villager Nang Jing told Shan Herald. “It’s terrifying us. Please stop the fighting!”

Headquartered in Wan Hai in Kehsi Township, the SSPP/SSA have been engaged in a series of battles with Burmese armed forces in recent months, including clashes in the townships of Namkham, Lashio, Tang Yan, Hsipaw, Kyaukme, Kehsi and Mong Hsu.

SSPP/SSA is a non-signatory to the government-backed Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). However, it signed state-level and union-level ceasefires with the then government led by President Thein Sein.

On Monday, Shan Herald reported that the SSPP/SSA had withdrawn from the ethnic alliance United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) as it consolidates its membership of the Northern Alliance alongside the Wa, Paluang and Kokang armed groups.

By Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)


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