SHAN-SHAN CONFLICT: Shan inter-ethnic armed conflict averted as Shan youth try another tactic

Sai Wansai – To the relief of the Shan people in Kehsi County, especially along the Loi Hon mountain range, the armed engagement between the two warring Shan armies, the Shan State Restoration Council / Army of Shan State (RCSS / SSA) and Shan State Progress Party / Shan State Army (SSPP / SSA) were avoided at the last moment, with the former withdrawing from its positions along the chain. mountains.

The clashes between the two have been going on for a month when the SSPP reinforced its troops numbering in the thousands to dislodge the RCSS, which speculated that the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and the Liberation Army Ta’ang National (TNLA) were part of it. reinforcement, with massive artillery power powers, fighting alongside him.

The accused parties were quick to dispel allegations that Wa and Palaung (Ta’ang) soldiers serving in various ethnic armies were normal and did not necessarily belong to the UWSA or the TNLA.

However, the withdrawal of the RCSS is welcomed by many Shans as this fraternal war with the two sides employing thousands of soldiers could be disorderly and if this happens, the Shan national cause that the two claimed to be fighting for will become blurred or even lost. . always.

At this point, the RCSS statement released recently on July 8 may be one of the few reasonable positions where the big picture of the Shan national cause and the well-being of the people has been mentioned and taken into account, although some might. conclude that she was shy. far from the deadly capitulation of the imminent heavy military attack planned by the SSPP and its allies.

In his four-point statement, he said: The combined SSPP / TNLA troops launched offensives against the RCSS in the townships of Namtu, Kyaukme and Hsipaw, causing hardship for the local population; attempting to solve political problems by military means only increases the difficulties and the burden on the local population, and the RCSS only defends its positions; since the military coup in February, the whole country has experienced socio-economic difficulties in addition to having to carry out a coup d’etat with the Covid-19 pandemic, and the inter-ethnic conflict would further exacerbate the plight of the population; and therefore, I urge all those involved in the armed conflicts in northern Shan State to find a peaceful solution to resolve the issues.

Shortly after the declaration, the RCSS withdrew completely from the Loi Hon mountain range, leaving the SSPP to take over without a fight.

The RCSS felt that it was trained not to kill each other and that it wanted to avoid such a fraternal fight.

So far all is well, it seems. But the Shan still have a long way to go to champion the Shan national cause in unison.

The frustration among the Shan patriots is so great, especially among the young people of Shan State, that they have recently formed an armed force and a political party because they do not want to side with one group or the ‘other, but want to be a mediator.

On July 7, the majority of Shan youth, middle-aged people and intellectuals announced the formation of the Shan State Federal Front (SSFF) and the Shan State Liberation Party (SSLP) political party.

Its principles and policies are anti-dictatorship, the achievement of democracy, federalism, the ethnic rights of states and the rights to self-determination.

Sao Pha, who is the general secretary of setup on July 10, told The Irrawaddy: “In Shan State there are two organizations, RCSS and SSPP. Other people like the Karens have KNU and the Kachin KIA. But in Shan State, when we seek to join a group in an attempt to repel the military coup, the RCSS and the SSPP are in conflict.

“That’s why if we join one, we will be in conflict with the other. We don’t want to be like that. We just want to rout the military dictatorship. We only want reconciliation between the two groups and do not want this to continue in conflict mode. This is why we have formed a federal front, ”he added.

Meanwhile, SSFF announced on July 12 its war against the junta and pledged to uproot the military dictatorship which is an obstacle to the establishment of a federal democratic union.