Con­flict in Shan State

Mizzima Business Weekly - - ETHNIC NEWS ROUNDUP -

The Na­tional League for Democ­racy (NLD) will meet with mem­bers of the United Na­tion­al­i­ties Al­liance (UThe Myan­mar army’s East-cen­tral Re­gional Mil­i­tary Com­mand, which over­sees mil­i­tary oper­a­tions in Shan State, has re­port­edly is­sued an or­der to its units to cease hos­til­i­ties against the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N).

The SSA-N’s spokesper­son Maj. Sai La told DVB the group was no­ti­fied about the or­der on Thurs­day by the re­gional mil­i­tary com­mand based in Ko­lam in southern Shan State’s Loilem dis­trict.

The Shan spokesman said the re­gional mil­i­tary com­mand had set out three con­di­tions to main­tain the truce: SSA-N must re­frain from set­ting up mil­i­tary out­posts south of the high­way con­nect­ing Mong­nawng and Monghsu; troops from both sides op­er­at­ing along the Union High­way must stop ha­rass­ing each other’s con­voys; both sides must cease gun­fire and, in par­tic­u­lar, the ar­tillery shelling of rear-guard out­posts.

In a re­lated is­sue, the Shan Hu­man Rights Foun­da­tion (SHRF) has doc­u­mented eight cases of sex­ual violence al­legedly com­mit­ted by Myan­mar gov­ern­ment troops in southern and east­ern Shan State since April 2015, all in so-called “cease­fire” ar­eas, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased by the group.

“Th­ese cases re­veal con­tin­u­ing pat­terns of im­punity, and high­light that on­go­ing mil­i­ta­riza­tion and of­fen­sives by the Myan­mar Army de­spite cease­fires are a key fac­tor threat­en­ing women’s se­cu­rity in eth­nic ar­eas,” the re­port said.

The NGO claims the most re­cent case took place on Novem­ber 5, 2015, near a vil­lage in Kehsi Town­ship. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port: “A 32-year-old woman was gang-raped by about 10 sol­diers while her hus­band was tied up un­der their farm hut. This took place dur­ing the cur­rent of­fen­sive by the Myan­mar Army against the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army-North (SSPP/SSA-N). De­spite an ex­ist­ing bi­lat­eral cease­fire, the gov­ern­ment has since last month de­ployed 20 bat­tal­ions, heavy ar­tillery, and fighter air­craft to seize SSPP/SSA-N ar­eas, com­mit­ting abuses against civil­ians and caus­ing dis­place­ment of over 10,000 vil­lagers.”

Seven ear­lier al­leged in­ci­dents of sex­ual violence doc­u­mented by SHRF took place in re­mote ru­ral ar­eas of southern and east­ern Shan State where the Myan­mar Army has con­tin­ued its troop build-up de­spite a bi­lat­eral cease­fire with the Restora­tion Coun­cil of Shan State/Shan State Army-South (RCSS/SSA-South) since De­cem­ber 2011.

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