Namtu villagers return home as TNLA retreat

Namtu villagers return home as TNLA retreat

Villagers who were displaced by fighting between Burmese government forces and the Ta-ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in northern Shan State’s Namtu Township have returned to their homes.

Around 400 residents from the village of Nasai in Namtu on 22 May fled their homes to the nearby area of Mansan after three artillery shells landed in their village amid the fighting. One of the shells landed in the village’s monastery compound, destroying the roof of a building.

Sai Aung Ba, the administrator of the Mansan village tract where the displaced Nasai residents were taking shelter, said they all returned to their homes in the morning of 25 May after the TNLA, also known as the Palaung army, withdrew from the area, effectively ending hostilities.

“They withdrew, apparently because they did not want to disrupt the villagers’ livelihoods as it is now harvest season,” said Sai Aung Ba.

“The government military has also pledged to ensure the safety of local residents upon their return, and have deployed troops around the village,” he said.

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The displaced Nasai residents were sheltered at the school, Buddhist monastery and the church in Mansan, and were supplied with donations of food by local villagers during their stay.

Another group of around 24 residents reportedly fled Nasai for the city of Lashio where they are currently sheltering at the Kachin Baptist Church.

The troubled northern Shan State area region has recently seen increased violence as a combined force of Kokang rebel militia the Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army, the TNLA and the Kachin Independence Army has taken on Burmese army troops in fierce battles since early February.

 

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