Tatmadaw, TNLA Clashes Continue Throughout Northern Shan State

By NETWORK MEDIA GROUP (NMG)
Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Fighting between the Burma Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) is ongoing in Namhsan, Lashio and Namtu townships in northern Shan State.

“It’s ongoing. Military momentum has yet to decrease,” Tar Mai Ohn Khaing, general secretary of the Ta’ang National Party (TNP), told NMG on Monday. “There was a clash between Kyaukme and Namhsan townships yesterday. They had clashes on the Lashio-Namtu road last night.”

The headman of the village of Loi Tauk confirmed the fighting on the Lashio-Namtu highway between mile markers 16 and 17, near the community in Lashio Township.

“[After the fighting] the Burma Army’s military column returned to Lashio. We didn’t see other armed organizations, either. It’s completely silent in the area today,” headman Kyar Tawt told NMG.

The Burma Army and the TNLA have had multiples clashes in recent days, with the TNLA reporting four battles on December 29 alone. One was on near Loi Tauk the Lashio-Namtu highway, another between Myothit and Loi Lam mountain in Namhsan, another at the top of Loi Lam, and another to the west of the mountain.

Kyar Tawt said a civilian—reportedly a driver or passenger in a car—was killed in the clashes near Loi Tauk after being hit by shrapnel.

NMG tried to call both the TNLA and the Tatmadaw’s True News Information team for further information but received no response at the time of reporting.

The TNLA also reported in a statement fighting for three consecutive days, from December 27-29 in Namhsan, Lashio and Namtu. There were allegedly three separate clashes in Mong Ngaw sub-township on December 27, near the village of Ner Yae, and at Pan Kamaung and Loi Soung mountains.

On December 28, the Burma Army and TNLA reportedly clashed near Ner Hsai and Pan Lawt villages in Namtu.

Because of the ongoing fighting, locals in northern Shan State say they are living in fear and finding it difficult to work on their farms.

“Because of frequent clashes in our area, local people and students are really scared. They are scared to go to work in their farm. They are worried about whether shrapnel is going to hit them. We are living here with fear. If possible, we, people want to request both sides not to have clashes near civilian villages and to sympathize with the local people,” Loi Tauk village headman Kyar Tawt told NMG.

The Burma Army has also engaged in multiple clashes with the Arakan Army in Rakhine State in recent days.

Both the TNLA and the Arakan Army are in negotiations with the government regarding a possible bilateral ceasefire agreement. Both groups are members of the Northern Alliance of ethnic armed organizations, and the Federal Political Negotiations Consultative Committee.