Local villagers who have been displaced by fighting this month in central Shan State’s Mong Kung Township between the Burmese army and Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) have reportedly called for a withdrawal of government forces from the region.
According to Sai Lon, a Mong Kung MP from the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, a group of internally displaced persons (IDPs) at a makeshift shelter in Tonlong approached an official delegation during its visit to the camp and requested that regional government officials speak out on their behalf.
“Regional government officials and MPs went to the displacement camp in Tonlong on 12 October to deliver relief supplies,” said Sai Lon. “They were approached by a group of IDPs who were calling for the Tatmadaw [government forces] to be withdrawn from the area.”
He said the group also called for the Tatmadaw to release two of their fellow villagers who were detained during a raid on a SSA-S facility in the village of Panpwe.
Earlier this month, a Burmese army battalion attacked a base that the SSA-S claims was a drug rehabilitation camp. Shan sources claim that government troops detained nearly 30 people from the camp, including two villagers working there as cooks.
The military on 7 October handed over all the detained persons except the two cooks to government officials in the town of Hsipaw.
Shan State government office director Sai Thaw Win said officials have inquired to the military’s Northeast Regional Command about the missing villagers, but no progress has been made at this time.