The military junta is reportedly going to set up two more artillery units in Shan State South between the Shan State Army (SSA) North bases in the west and United Wa State Army (UWSA) bases in the east, according to informed sources from Shan State South.
One is to be located in Mongzang, Monghsu township, southeast of the SSA First Brigade’s Headquarters Wanhai and another further south where the former SSA North’s 7th Brigade headquarters at Kali, Kunhing township, is located.
The director of the Burma Army Artillery (unidentified) accompanied by Commander of Taunggyi based Eastern Region Command Brig-Gen San Oo, were reported to have arrived at Kunhing on Tuesday evening, 30 November and continued to Mongzang.
The commander was escorted by some 100 Burma Army troops plus 3 squads of local militia men from Loipha, former headquarters of SSA’s 7th Brigade that transformed itself into Nyapyitaw’s Home Guard Force (HGF) in April.
“They returned on the next day after finished inspecting in Mongzang and went to inspect the site near Kunghing-Takaw motorroad for setting up another artillery base,” a source said.
A border watcher commented that although military junta is beefing up forces there has yet to be any sign of a major operation. “But it is certain they [ruling military] are preparing to launch military operation against the ceasefire groups after a new government is installed,” he said.
Currently, the number of reports of Burma Army movements to the Shan State has increased. Last month alone, at least a hundred Dongfeng six-wheel trucks from Shan State North’s Lashio carrying supplies went through to Kunlong-Panglong, north of the United Wa State Army (UWSA) controlled territory.
“We don’t really know what they carried because all were covered with black-tarpaulin,” an eye witness said.
At the same time, the liaison office of the SSA’s First Brigade based in Tangyan was reportedly closed by military junta, giving no reason for the closure, according to a local source. “They are now preparing to collect the list of people who used to have relations with the SSA,” he said.