Campaign stalemate, war goes on

The campaign launched by the Burma Army on the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) seems to be at a standstill since their first meet in April, though reports of small clashes between the two groups are still coming out everyday, according to local sources.Yesterday, a unit of Burma Army soldiers from Infantry Battalion (LIB) 325 based in Hsawngkae, Shan State North’s Hsipaw township, was attacked by a unit of SSA fighters, leaving two Burma Army soldiers dead and some weapons to the group, said Col Sai Htoo, one of the SSA senior officer.

“They [the Burma army soldiers] were attacked by some of SSA fighters from Brigade No.1, while bathing in a river near their base. A corporal and a private were said to have died instantly while another soldier escaped,” a source said.

No casualties were reported from the SSA side, he added.

Clashes between the two groups were said to have been taking place everyday in Monghsu, Hsipaw, Mongyai and Kehsi townships, said a local source from Monghsu.

Though the Burma Army has made attempts to negotiate with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), there has been no communication between the SSA and Burma Army. Future relations between the SSA and the Burma Army are indeterminable, said a border analyst from the Thai-Burma border.

The Burma Army has made no more offers of ceasefire to the SSA since they met at Mongkhurh, Hsipaw Township in Shan State North on 11, April 2011.The SSA did not respond to the demand that it surrender.

Another border watcher commented that the Burma Army still seems willing to negotiate with the SSA. “Otherwise, it [the Burma Army] would have attacked Wanhai (the SSA’s HQ),” he said.

The SSA has lost five of its bases including gateways to its ally Untied Wa State Army (UWSA) controlled areas since 13 March, when fighting first erupted. Dozens of civilians in the conflict zones were reportedly killed and injured by the Burma Army’s heavy shells.

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