Despite the Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) signing a peace agreement with the government on Union Day, 12 February, government forces attacked them on 28 February.
The RCSS/SSA’s Advanced Youth Empowerment Programme Training School in Mawkmai Township, Southern Shan State was attacked by government troops from Infantry Battalion (IB) 248 between 1pm and 2.30pm on 28 February.
According to Lieutenant Colonel Sai Mong, spokesperson of the RCSS about 70 soldiers from IB 248 based in Mongnai Township, Lingkhe District and under the command of No. 2 Military Operations Command (MOC) attacked the RCSS’s training school, which runs empowerment programmes for local youths and is located in the north part of Soung Village, in Want-Nar Village-Tract, in Mawkmai Township.
He said: “Government forces attacked us while we were in training. There was fighting between our outpost forces and the government forces for an hour. I have no idea why they attacked us. This is the first battle [we have had] since we signed the ‘Peace and National Reconciliation Promise’ on Union Day. We have not yet informed Naypyidaw [the government] about this battle.”
Want-Nar Village-Tract is about 20 miles north-west of Mawkmai Town.
A prominent local person said that there were no casualty figures for the fighting and the RCSS’s youth empowerment programme that started a month ago has closed because of the fighting.
Though heavy fighting had already started in the Kokang area of Northern Shan State the RCSS/SSA and government representatives, led by the president, signed a ‘Peace and National Reconciliation Promise on 12 February, Union Day. The RCSS leader General Yawd Serk then met with the government army chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing on 13 February to discuss building peace together.
Translated by Aung Myat Soe English version written by Mark Inkey for BNI