Burma Army is reinforcing more troops and tanks to military front line areas in Shan State South’s Mongnawng township, opposite Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’’s controlled territory, according to local sources.
On 9 February morning, about 6 tanks were sent from Taunggyi and arrived in Mongnawng, southeast of SSA’s First Brigade headquarters. And over 20 tanks more are expected to arrive in the next few days, according to local sources.
During the same day, 6 military trucks carrying about 200 men and supplies were reportedly heading to Mongnawng as well, an eye witness said. “All soldiers were armed and in full uniforms.”
On the other hand, the military junta is also blocking all trucks running between Kehsi and Monghsu townships, on the motor roads leading to SSA’s HQ Wanhai. Kehsi is situated in the west of Wanhai and Monghsu in the east of it.
“Any types of vehicles are banned to pass that way now and the trucks are told to use other way,” a car driver said. “The instruction was given on 8 February.” he added.
Regarding the movement, it is said this is the first time that the military junta reinforces more troops to rebel armed groups after the calls of parliament. The reinforcement to rebel groups was temporarily stopped when the military called for the first session of the parliament
The SSA side says the military reinforcement and instruction of blocking the road to its area are like a signal of the military junta's plan to launch military operation against the group.
“This is the first time they block the road in 20 years of ceasefire movement. It is their policy to destroy us in several ways. They will hinder the food flows and reinforce more troops to us until we can’t stand. No matter, our top leaders know well about the junta’s plans,” an SSA officer told SHAN in anonymity.
The SSA has also ordered its fighters to be well-prepared, but all must shun taking confrontation again. However, there has been no sign of tension among the two sides yet, the officer said.
According to the SSA’s record, the group has already fought with the Burma Army 7 times since the group denied the Naypyitaw’s Border Guard Force (BGF) program.