Two captured RCSS soldiers to stand trial

Two Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) soldiers arrested by the Tatmadaw in July and detained in Kengtung prison will be tried in Shan State on October 9.

“The court hearing was originally set on September 29, but the judges didn’t come. So it has been rescheduled for October 9,” said Major Sai Main, in-charge of the RCSS/SSA liaison office in Keng Tung, Shan State.

The two soldiers – Sai Sur Loun and Sai Loun – belong to the RCSS/SSA military based in Mong Ping township in eastern Shan State. They were arrested on July 25 by the Mong Hsat-based 527th Light Infantry Battalion in Kain Hain village and were transferred to Kengtung on August 26, according to the Tai Freedom website, which is owned by the RCSS/SSA.

“The JMC-S [Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee] meeting will be held either in Nansang or Kholam within a few days. We will discuss this issue at the meeting. As we have signed the NCA [National Ceasfire Agreement], we need to find a solution through negotiation,” said RCSS/SSA spokesperson Colonel Sai Ngan.

The RCSS/SSA soldiers were arrested when they entered the village on a motorcycle to buy soap and toothpaste and call their families, according to Tai Freedom. The Tatmadaw has accused them of possessing weapons and collecting taxes from civilians.

The RCSS/SSA also arrested a soldier who deserted a Tatmadaw unit in Mong Kung Township. Although the RCSS/SSA contacted the Tatmadaw to return the detained soldier, they have not yet received a reply, according to the RCSS/SSA. The RCSS returned a Tatmadaw soldier who was captured during clashes around Mong Kung in August.