Junta sends reinforcements to northern Shan State amid escalating battles with Kokang forces

Battles broke out for four days in a row in northern Shan State this week following an abrupt end to meetings between representatives of the military and three members of the Northern Alliance of ethnic armed organisations, according to a spokesperson from one of the groups.

Three days of planned meetings with the Arakan Army, the ethnic Kokang Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army halted after just two days on June 2.The talks were scheduled to take place from June 1-3 and were hosted by the Chinese government in Mongla, eastern Shan State.

A 70-soldier military column attacked the MNDAA in Hsenwi Township on June 2 as the meeting was ongoing, resulting in a one-hour exchange of weapons fire.

Clashes also erupted between the junta and the Kokang armed group around Laukkai, near the China-Myanmar border, until June 4, with the military sending reinforcements to the area after the battles.

“The junta column went from Laukkai to Tar Shwe Htan village and are regrouping there. Tension is still increasing,” said MNDAA information officer Yan Naing on Thursday.

A junta convoy of more than 20 trucks filled with soldiers reportedly arrived near Tar Shwe Htan  on Wednesday morning.

Two clashes occurred between the MNDAA and the military in the Ton Shan area in southwestern Laukkai on June 3 and 4, when another junta column of 100 troops launched an offensive.

According to Yan Naing, on June 4, one MNDAA member was killed and another injured, while the junta reportedly suffered several casualties.

“Both the military and an [allied] militia from Laukkai attacked us and we managed to kill eight of them in an attack on one of their trucks using explosives,” he said.

The MNDAA and its allies attacked a junta police station and two military bases in Lashio Township on Monday. The group’s newly formed inter-ethnic Brigade 611 also participated, Yan Naing added.

The police station was located in Ward 12 in front of the Lashio sports stadium, and one of the army bases was near Ward 5. The other base was outside Lashio, near Pan Huong village.

Yan Naing said that the recent military action against the MNDAA was an attempt “to acquire dominance over the area.”

The junta has yet to release a statement on the talks in Mongla, but said on June 2 that meetings would again be held when conditions to do so were met.

Arakan Army spokesperson Khaing Thukha commented that topics of discussion during the meetings were very general and that his organisation’s position against the military council “remains unchanged.”

Related Articles

Back to top button