RCSS, TNLA Fight Following Northern Alliance Strikes in Northern Shan State

The Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) clashed in Nawng Khio on Thursday evening, following TNLA attacks on transportation infrastructure and tollgates in the region.

The fighting occurred between Mang Pan and Pan Molu villages, and was confirmed by TNLA spokesperson Maj Tar Aik Kyaw. He told SHAN that the clash broke out at around 5:00 p.m. as the Ta’ang forces were withdrawing from earlier battles with the Burma Army.

We clashed with the RCSS when our forces retreated from the Nawng Khio clashes. One of our soldiers was killed, Maj Tar Aik Kyaw said to SHAN.

When contacted by SHAN, an RCSS spokesperson would not directly comment on the clashes.

I cannot confirm the clashes. I heard about clashes with TNLA. I am still inquiring about it. I heard that the clashes occurred in the evening, RCSS spokesperson Lt-Col Sai Mueng said.

He added that the RCSS was active in Nawng Khio, Hsipaw and Kyaukme townships in northern Shan State.

An RCSS officer at the organization’s headquarters in Loi Tai Leng said that according to their field reports, they thought the TNLA was coming to fight them.

The Northern Alliance groups were gathering their forces one day before they attacked Nawng Khio, he said, referring to the alliance’s strikes on tollgates and transportation infrastructure in the area. News leaked that they would attack the RCSS camp in Hu Sung village tract in Kyaukme. All RCSS forces were on standby. Actually, they attacked the DSTA [Defense Services Technological Academy in Pyin Oo Lwin] and the Nawng Khio tollgate. Our forces skirmished with TNLA forces when they retreated.

The RCSS�signatory to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with the Burmese military and government�has fought with the TNLA, which is not a signatory to the NCA, in northern Shan State since 2015. The groups have never had an official meeting.

Political analyst U Maung Maung Soe anticipates that low-intensity clashes will continue in the area as long as the armed forces do not hold negotiations or dialogue.

I don’t think the skirmishes yesterday were big. When the TNLA crossed the RCSS-controlled area, they shot at each other, he said, admitting that he did not have detailed information about the incident.

The TNLA and Northern Alliance members the Arakan Army and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army attacked five strategic locations in Pyin Oo Lwin and Nawng Khio on the morning of August 15.

The TNLA’s Maj Tar Aik Kyaw told SHAN that the armed groups were retaliating for ongoing military operations against them, despite calls for the Tatmadaw to cease its activities in northern Shan State.

According to news reports, some 14 police, soldiers, and civilians were killed and 15 people injured.

Source: The Shan Herald Agency for News