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Anti-SSA militia's war chest fattened

by admin last modified 2007-05-17 04:08

The former Shan State Army (SSA) South commander who had grabbed headlines by declaring independence and then surrendering to the Burma Army both within a span of one year has recently received funds from Naypyidaw to rebuild his forces against his erstwhile boss Col Yawdserk, according to ceasefire and civilian sources.

No.06 - 5/2007
17 May 2007
War
 
Anti-SSA militia's war chest fattened
 
The former Shan State Army (SSA) South commander who had grabbed headlines by declaring independence and then surrendering to the Burma Army both within a span of one year has recently received funds from Naypyidaw to rebuild his forces against his erstwhile boss Col Yawdserk, according to ceasefire and civilian sources.
 
"We weren't told exactly how much," said a local close to the 180-strong militia force led by Col Moengzuen, former commander of the SSA's 758th Brigade and former commander-in-chief of the splinter group SSA Central. "Only that it was more than 10 million kyat. In addition, he also received 4 trucks, 2 four-wheels and 2 six-wheels."
Moeng_zuen

Col Moengzuen

Moengzuen had traveled to Naypyidaw on 27 April and was back in Laikha, 79 miles northeast of the state capital Taunggyi, on 5 May, according to a ceasefire source. Among the top Burma Army officers he reportedly met were Vice Senior General Maung Aye, the number 2 man, and Lt-Gen Thein Sein, the number 4 man.
 
Moengzuen, 45, whose base is at Namhu Phra Htam, southeast of Laikha, has a home at the township seat where he lives with his third wife Nang Yen, 30.
Moengzuen-Thein Sein (MM)

Col Moengzuen with Lt-Gen Thein Sein

Recruiting has reportedly started even before his trip to Naypyidaw with villagers hiring volunteers to serve in the militia force. The price is 1.6 million kyat ($ 1,230) per head, and in some places up to 1.7 million kyat ($ 1,307).
 
"The junta hopes to use his men as guides to the SSA's hideouts and strongholds like it did with the DKBA (Democratic Karen Buddhist Army) against the KNU (Karen National Union)," commented the ceasefire source.
 
Col Moengzuen announced his allegiance to the Interim Shan Government (ISG) formed by a little known group of Shan exiles on 17 April 2005. On 16 July 2006, he formally "returns to the legal fold", junta euphemism for surrender, in Laikha following the arrival of 300-strong expeditionary force from Loi Taileng, the SSA's main base on the Thai-Burma border.