Nammatu fighting forces over 2,000 to flee their homes

Sithar (Taunggyi)

Clashes involving several ethnic armed groups have forced over 2,000 local residents in Nammatu Township, Shan State (North), to flee their homes, according to local sources.

Fighting started on August 30 among troops from Ta'aung National Liberation Army (TNLA), Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP) and its allied forces and Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS). Fierce clashes also occurred on September 3 and 4, said locals.

Over 2,000 local people from more than 10 villages of Nammatu Township are now living in villages deemed safer in Hsipaw and Nammatu townships, according to the Charity Without Borders Association.

In the fighting on September 1, two villagers were wounded. Due to the continued fighting, travellers dare not use Lashio-Nammatu road and they have to use river routes.

Local people are also worried that fighting would spread to Hsipaw and Kyaukme townships.

Military tensions among ethnic armed groups including government army are reportedly continuing in Nammatu Township, Shan State (North).

Clashes started in late August. Military tensions among them are still going on forcing many local people to live in refugee camps. SSPP has reportedly arrested and held three people from Mongmai Village, Mongmu Village-tract.