Currently, no one (Chinese and Burmese) is being allowed to stay in the territory of Wa also called United Wa State Army (UWSA) without residential permits in eastern Shan State, bordering China’s Yunnan province and Thailand. Outsiders without residential permits issued by Wa are being scrutinized and expelled outside the group’s territory, said people who recently visited Wa territory.
They added, Wa allows every outsider to enter or live and work in its territories with official residential permits but outsiders are checked thoroughly and some are denied entry by Wa.
The Wa’s scrutinizing outsiders followed soon after the Chinese government announced through state-run radios and televisions telling citizens in Burmese territories, where war may be resumed between ethnic armed groups and the Burmese troops, to return home, since last week.
China’s announcement came about two weeks after clashes started between Burmese troops and Kokang ceasefire group known as the National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA-ESS) in the group’s territories after Burmese troops captured the group’s capital Laogai on August 24. According to sources close to Chinese border security agents, China has told the Burmese junta to avoid war with ethnic groups along its borders before the republic’s 60th National Day on October 1. The other reason is that a Chinese company will start construction of a gas pipeline in Northeast Shan State near its border heading for gas reserves in Burma’s western Arakan (also called Rakhine) State from September.
Till now, the Burmese junta has been demanding that UWSA hand over the fleeing Kokang supreme leader Peng Jiasheng but UWSA has rejected the junta’s extradition order. It also did not say that it is accepting Peng.
Meanwhile, several thousand Burmese soldiers have been deployed since August last week at four different areas in Wa territories near Hopang and Panglong near Kokang’s Chinshwehaw as well as Mongphyat, which is close to the Mongla-based Myanmar Democratic Alliance Army-MDAA led by Sai Leun, the son-in-law of the Kokang’s leader Peng.
At the same time, thousands Burmese soldiers are being sent to the areas around the 4th Brigade of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Northeast Shan State close to Kokang territory and the KIA’s 3rd Brigade in eastern Kachin State, according to KIA officers.
The junta is mounting pressure on all ethnic ceasefire groups in the country to transform to the Burmese Army-controlled Border Guard Force (BGF) by October.
This has been rejected by five ethnic ceasefire groups— the KIA, UWSA, MDAA, NDAA-ESS and Shan State Army-North (SSA-N). Civil war may be resumed at any time between these groups and the Burmese Army. It, however, depends on the Burmese regime, said sources in the ceasefire groups.