The Ta’ang National Liberation Army (PSLF/TNLA) and the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS/SSA) have clashed in the northern area of Shan State since November 27; both sides have suffered casualties, according to a TNLA announcement.
The cause of the fighting is a dispute over land, and the RCSS seeks to settle the dispute, said Colonel Sai La of the RCSS on December 6.
According to the TNLA, the fighting occurred as the forces of RCSS intruded on their territories in Kyaukme, Namhsan, Mantong and Nanhkan. In some areas, the TNLA has cooperated with the Kachin Independent Army (KIA) and the Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP/SSA). The government army has helped the RCSS forces, and there have been some casualties in the fighting since November 27. The fighting is just a conflict between two armed groups, and not between the Ta’ang and Shan races, the TNLA has pointed out.
“They said it is a land dispute between us. They said we intruded on their territories. However, it is not their territory, and we are controlling the areas since they armed themselves. The main reason of the fighting is a land dispute between us,” said Colonel Sai La.
He said the government army did not help, countering the accusation of the RCSS.
“When I inquired them about it, they said they have no reason to ask for help from the government. They didn’t accept the help of local militias because it would hurt their good image,” said the colonel.
The leaders of the RCSS are considering negotiating the dispute at the annual meeting of the RCSS, expected to be held in third week of December, he said.
“We have agreements in the NCA not to deal with the situation with the use of weapons. We need to follow the NCA. It is the only way to make a ceasefire. The RCSS accepted it because it is the best way. The peaceful method is the best way to solve conflicts. I think they will use it,” said the colonel.