Military tension rises in Namatu involving several armed groups including govt army

Min Naing Soe

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

Clashes started in late August involving several armed groups such as the army, Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP) and Ta'aung National Liberation Army (TNLA). Military tensions among them are still ongoing, forcing many local ethnics to evacuate and live in refugee camps. SSPP has reportedly arrested and held three people from Mongmai Village, Mongmu Village-tract.

"In the region, military tension is supposed to long lasting because those armed groups are still there. On the night of August 31, we heard sounds of gunfire in the western part of Mongmai Village. The fighting was between RCSS and Northern Alliance. Three Mongmai villagers from Mongsan refugee camp were arrested by SSPP (from the Northern Alliance) on August 31 while they went back to their village to check cattle.

More local residents arrived at Mongsan monastery where a refugee camp is opened in the afternoon of September 1. The clashes that occurred on August 29 destroyed the almost whole Narbon Village.

"The Northern Alliance arrested Narbon Village head Aung Myaing for allegedly giving information to the government army. They were going to kill him. Upon a strong request, he was released after 24 hours of detention. Some food rations for the alliance force were destroyed. When army columns left the place, the alliance troops came again. They were so angry because they were not given information about government troops. The situation is very confusing in this area" said some local residents.