panglong org 2.july 2013
The Burma Army military operations command has requested the United Wa State Army (UWSA) to submit the list of all its bases stationed on the east of Salween, along the Thai-Burma border, local news sources said.
“On Thursday (June 27), the Burma Army military operations command (MOC) based at Pongpakhem, opposite Chiang Mai Province, has requested the Wa Army’s official representatives submit a list of its bases stationed on the east Salween River along the Thai-Burma border; including all UWSA bases stationed in the regions under his [MOC] control. The list should be detailed and include the amount of men at each base. It seems UWSA commander was unwavering, and unlikely to comply the order,” said a local source that is familiar with the regional Wa army commander.
According to the RCSS/SSA sources, on 27 June, the Burma Army mobilized 20 military trucks fully loaded with soldiers, military equipment and heavy guns as it crossed the Tasang bridge heading toward southern Wa army region, a SSA commander said.
“Right now, the government and Shan armies are under the truce agreement. Our relationships have been good so far. Lt-Gen. Yawdserk, the RCSS chairman, has just returned from Naypyitaw where he met with President Thein Sein. Tensions between Wa and Burma armies have been increasing day by day. We have to be watchful and careful in this critical situation. We have to avoid confrontation with the Wa as we are all citizens of Shan State,” said regional Shan army commander.
The Shan commander adds: “Right now, I don’t see any imminent threats that the Burma army would launch an attack on the Wa any time soon. At this stage the Burma army may use a psychological warfare; they may block Wa movements, or hinder ability to get food and supplies that are essential for the Wa army.”
“The Burma army has setup a new base at Loi Samsum located between Monghsat and Tachileik. Although the Wa army can still travel on this highway, they are not allowed to carry war weapons. Passerby vehicles are thoroughly searched. Some of the strategic Wa bases have also been informed to retreat. On Monghsat-Tachileik Highway, there are 2 Wa bases, and the Burma army has setup a base close to one of the Wa bases,” a local elder from the area who is familiar with both Wa and Burma armies told SHAN.
The Burma army official circles have recently estimated that under the control of the southern Wa Army region 171, in Monghsat-Mongton townships along the Thai-Burma border, there are 5 Brigades: 772, 775, 778, 518 and 248; each brigade is 1,500-strong. There are also additional troops from the Wa militia totaling in 15,000 troops.