WAR: Top Wa leaders across the border

PANGLONG NEWS 10.JULY 2013

Five top Wa leaders arrived at Hwe Aw, opposite Chiangmai, last Friday, 5 July, to hold pre-talks with local United Wa State Army (UWSA) commanders before actual negotiations with Naypyitaw’s negotiators in Kengtung, 11-12 July, according to Thai security sources.

 

Xiao Minliang (Photo: UWSA)
Xiao Minliang (Photo: UWSA)

Xiao Minliang, Vice President, led the delegation and one of its members was Zhao Guo-an, Chief of External Affairs. The source was unable to name the remaining 3 members, but maintained that it was a confirmed report. “Naypyitaw had proposed 5 July for the negotiations,” explained another source. “But Wa authorities in Panghsang (on the Sino-Burmese border) said it would be better if they could first discuss with its commanders on the Thai-Burmese border, where the current confrontation is taking place. The Burmese side had apparently given the okay to the request.”

 

He said it is possible some of the 5 brigade commanders in the UWSA’s 171st Military Region, whose units are stretched across areas opposite Maehongson, Chiangmai and Chiangrai provinces, would accompany the delegation to Kengtung.

 

Zhao Guo-an (Photo: UWSA)
Zhao Guo-an (Photo: UWSA)

 

The Burma Army, according to reports, had issued an ultimatum stating that the UWSA withdraw it troops from 4 positions:

 

  • Kiu Hulom in Mongjawd, Mongton township
  • Loi Kawng Mu, near Mae Ken, Mongton township
  • Loi Pakae near Loi Hsarm Hsoom, Monghsat township
  • Mae Jok near Mongtoom-Mong Karn, Monghsat township

Thousands of troops from both sides are facing off each other opposite Hua Mae Kham, Chiangrai province. Thousands of villagers in the area meanwhile are poised to cross the border into Thailand once fighting breaks out. “So far we have yet to hear any shots fired,” said a local. “We are still waiting in suspense.”

One of the topics expected to be discussed in Kengtung appears to be the Shan State Army (SSA) South whose operational areas overlap those of the UWSA. “We heard that the Burma Army is planning to turn over some of the areas to the SSA,” a SSA commander quoted his UWSA counterpart as saying. “I told him what we are asking for is the whole Shan State, not just a few plots of land.

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