Burma Army Troops Withdraw From NMSP Territory

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Tatmadaw soldiers have completely withdrawn from a base that they seized from the Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA) near Three Pagodas Pass, officials from the New Mon State Party (NMSP)—the political wing of the MNLA—said.

Combined forces from the Burma Army and a Border Guard force occupied an MNLA camp in Japan Yaytwin village after a clash on the morning of November 27 last year. They then moved and seized the nearby Hongsa (Hintha) Gate located some 300 yards away.

NMSP leaders said that the troops finally withdrew from the area on January 13.

Locals—who fled the area when the government soldiers came in—said that they now felt safe returning home.

“The Burma Army’s troops withdrew from our village, but actually, they moved to new location near our village. So clashes could have occurred at any time. Some people returned to the village, but some people didn’t. Now they have completely withdrawn from the area. So all of us will return home,” a local from Japan Yaytwin village told NMG.

More than 800 local people from the villages of Japan Yaytwin and Kyantaw and NMSP’s Battalion 3 area fled to Thailand due to the clashes between the MNLA and the government-backed forces.

This week’s withdrawal from Japan Yaytwin comes as a result of negotiations between Burmese and Mon forces.

“Japan Yaytwin camp is our base. We already agreed on this camp position as our base in the state- and Union-level ceasefire agreements signed in 2012. We also put it again in the NCA (Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement) signed in 2018,” NMSP joint secretary Nai Win Hla told NMG.

According to NMSP officials, combined forces from the Burma Army and the Border Guard Force entered the MNLA base in full uniform en route to carry out observations near the Thai border without permission from the NMSP in late November. Fighting then broke out.

Although in the past there was military tension between the Burma Army and the NMSP, no clashes has broken out in recent years until this incident.