Ethnic groups clash in Namtu

Writer: 
Kyaw Zin Win
The Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), a member of the Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee (FPNCC), clashed with Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in Namtu, a town in northern Shan State, according to Lower House MP Nan Kham Aye representing Namtu constituency on December 6.
 
The clash broke out in an area between Mongyin village tract and Winnan village in Namtu Township on the night of December 5.
Why the clash broke out is not yet know, said the MP.
 
The tension between SSPP/SSA and TNLA was running high for the three days before the conflict. The troops from both ethnic armed groups took positions on both sides of Nantswan bridge between Mongyin village tract and Winnan village, said Nan Kham Aye.
 
“Three punishments are being handed out for narcotic drugs in the area of the TNLA,” said the MP. “Signboards regarding this matter are being erected. Then I noticed the signboards were gone. Only the posts have been left. The TNLA asked the residents who dismantled the signboards. The residents replied they did not know exactly.
 
“Therefore, the TNLA called the Shan group to come and settle this matter. But the Shan ethnic armed group did not respond,” the Lower House MP said.
 
“The TNLA asked the villagers for the household lists from the villages. The Shan ethnic armed group instructed the villagers not to give their household lists to the TNLA. I think the problem started from this point,” said Nan Kham Aye.
 
All the village tracts in Namtu Township are under government control.
 
An official of the TNLA told some media outlets that they got Mongyin village tract as their active area from the SSPP/SSA. The SSPP/SSA considers the Mongyin village tract as their active area.
 
Media contacted Co Lt-Colonel Sai Hsu, the spokesperson of the SSPP/SSA, who said that Mongyin village tract had not been given to the TNLA as their active area.
 
The government army clashed with the TNLA near Honar village in Namtu Township on the morning of December 6, said the TNLA in their report.
 
All groups are required to work toward a genuine peace, said the MP, noting that the terms of a genuine peace process have already been decided. These sorts of clashes are occurring because there is no genuine peace, the Lower House MP said.
 
The SSPP/SSA is an NCA signatory and signed with the government at the State and Union levels, but the TNLA is a NCA non-signatory. Both groups are also the members of Northern Alliance that does not recognise the NCA.
Translated by Win Htut