Wa armed group declares neutrality, rules out attack on Kengtung

The Brotherhood Alliance handed over full control of two towns captured during Operation 1027 to the United Wa State Army this month, fuelling speculation that the group might try to enforce a historical claim to Kengtung

The ethnic armed organisation United Wa State Army (UWSA) responded to widely circulating rumours in a statement on Tuesday, denying any intent to advance on or seize the town of Kengtung, eastern Shan State. 

Kengtung holds strategic significance as the headquarters of the Triangle Command—one of the army’s 14 region military commands throughout the country—and its location on routes needed for both the China-Myanmar and Thailand-Myanmar border trade.

The UWSA—which stands out among Myanmar’s ethnic armed groups for its manpower and access to modern weaponry—joined the ethnic armed groups of the Brotherhood Alliance in completing the takeover of the town of Hopang, northern Shan State earlier this month. 

The Brotherhood Alliance—which has been carrying out an offensive against the Myanmar army. . .

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