Ceasefire army on watch list

The Military Affairs Security (MAS) branch in Lashio, capital of Northern Shan State, has been instructed to keep the Shan State Army (SSA) “North”, officially Shan State Special Region #3, under close watch, according to an informed source on the Sino-Burma border.Its top leader Maj Gen Hso Ten has been serving 106 year jail sentence in Khamti, after his participation in the Shan State Day reception on 7 February 2005 in Taunggyi. “Other leaders from now on must watch their own steps,” he warned. “The junta needs only a misstep from them to dump them on trumped up charges.”

The SSA “North” is led by major generals Loi Mao, Gaifa and Pangfa. It has 3 brigades: the First with approximately 3,000 men, the Third with 500 and Seventh with 1,000. The United Wa State Army (UWSA) has called it “the closest ally outside the Peace and Democracy Front (PDF)”.

The PDF is made up of 4 members: UWSA, Kokang or Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Mongla or National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA) and New Democratic Army-Kachin (NDA-K).

The SSA North’s units are positioned on the west bank of the Salween and any attack on the UWSA by the Burma Army coming from the west will have to negotiate stiff resistance by the SSA first.

It is also under suspicion of being hand in glove with the anti-Naypyitaw SSA “South” led by Col Yawdserk.

According to Network for Democracy and Development (NDD), 25 July 2009, 8 of the existing 13 ceasefire groups are against Naypyitaw’s plan to transform them into Border Guard Force (BGF) outwardly to be commanded by ceasefire officers but, to all intents and purposes, to be run by junta officers

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