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Ethnic armed groups the Ta’ang Nationalities Liberation Army (TNLA) and the Shan State Army-South (SSA-South) are again seeing clashes with each other in northern Shan State.
The TNLA on Monday released a statement claiming the group engaged in three separate clashes with the SSA-South, a signatory to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with the government, on 1 May alone.
The group said two clashes took place in two separate locations in Namhkam Township around 1pm on Sunday and another around 6pm in Mantong Township, accusing the SSA-South of infringing on its territories and provoking the fight.
The two groups began clashing in the end of November last year, shortly after the SSA-South signed the NCA, ceasing hostilities with Burma’s government army. The fighting has forced the displacement of thousands of locals who were forced to flee their homes to safety.
The TNLA claimed it was trying to refrain from hostilities in April as it was the season for harvesting tea, one of the main crops grown by the Palaung, but said it was provoked into fighting by SSA-South troops who entered and set up an outpost in TNLA territory.
Meanwhile, the SSA-South put out an announcement claiming that the TNLA were the aggressors, accusing the group of attacking an SSA-South outpost on Sunday morning. The SSA-South said it was calling for negotiations to end hostilities, suggesting as mediators the ethnic armed group coalition the United Nationalities Federal Council and the United Wa State Army.
Reporting by DVB