WAR:Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’call asking everyone to evacuate to other areas for their safety

FRIDAY, 18 MARCH 2011 14:42 HSENG KHIO FAH

Hundreds of local residents living in Wanhai of Shan State South’s Kehsi township, where the headquarters of Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’ is based, are now leaving the area following the SSA’s call asking everyone to evacuate to other areas for their safety, according to local sources.

“They [SSA] said the security around the village is unpredictable and fighting could break out at anytime. Therefore, the group was asking everyone, especially women, children and elderly people to leave the area at their earliest possible,” said a local villager who just arrived in Monghsu township this morning.

“But men and youth were asked to remain in the area in order to help fight with the group,” she added.

According to him, the call came out after the SSA received the junta’s ultimatum to surrender by 1st April. It was also demanded to pull out from all their bases spread out in areas outside its main base, within this week.

Since then, everyone is rushing to evacuate to other places, especially to towns like Monghsu, Kehsi and Taunggyi up to date. Some people were going with Tolaji (Chinese made farm tractor) and trucks while some were fleeing in bullock-carts.

“Transport fare in Monghsu has increased dramatically when many people are coming to take the buses here. Buses are full everyday,” said a local villager in Monghsu. Continue reading “WAR:Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’call asking everyone to evacuate to other areas for their safety”

WAR:Latest offensive: More men at the front, less in the rear

FRIDAY, 18 MARCH 2011 13:59 S.H.A.N.

One glaring fact of the ongoing offensive against the Shan State Army (SSA) ‘north’ is that the Burma Army is concentrating most of its available strength at the front than in the rear, leaving many towns defenseless, according to both Thai and Shan sources.

Towns like Tangyan and Mongyai in the north and Kehsi, Mongnawng and Monghsu in the south have only a handful of soldiers and local village militiamen.

Mongnawng, the headquarters of Military Operations Command #2 (MOC 2), for instance, has only about 60 armed men to face any counter attack by the rebels:
10 policemen
10 fire fighters
5 armed civilian personnel
for inner security and a company of Infantry Battalion #9 for outer security.

“Burmese battalions are mostly company sizes, and companies platoon sizes,” said a retired SSA officer. “The best defense for the SSA North will be launching attacks on these towns.”

The SSA North, since Sunday, 13 March, has been under siege by the 2,000 strong Burma Army that is gradually tightening its cordon against the defenders. The group has been given an ultimatum to surrender by All Fool’s Day, 1 April.

 

Myawaddy Braces for Attack

Residents of the Burmese border town of Myawaddy began fleeing the area on Thursday amid reports that a breakaway faction of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), a former cease-fire armed group, is preparing to launch an offensive against Burmese troops based in the town.

Local sources said that while some residents had fled to the nearby town of Kawkareik, most were staying in their homes to avoid getting caught up in the latest armed clashes between government troops and the DKBA.

“The government authorities here are saying this is just rumor, but their families were the first to flee,” said one local resident.

Meanwhile, Col San Aung of DKBA Brigade 5, the renegade group that has been clashing with government troops in the area since late last year, confirmed reports that it is planning to launch an attack on the town soon, but has been delayed due to the unseasonably wet weather.

He warned local people in the area to travel with caution, but assured them that the DKBA would only attack military targets.

“People should not worry too much, because we will only go after the government’s military installations,” he said, adding that his group had already announced its intention to start a new offensive after high school exams are completed this month.

The town’s residents said they were very cautious about the latest development because Burmese government forces launched military offensives against the rebel Shan State Army-North on Sunday.

A bus driver in Myawaddy said that just a few days ago, three Burmese soldiers were killed during an ambush by DKBA troops on the Myawaddy-Kawareik road—the main trading route between Thailand and Burma.

On Nov. 7 of last year—the day Burma held its first general elections in 20 years—armed clashes broke out between DKBA troops and the Burmese army, sending tens of thousands of refugees fleeing to the Thai border.