Namhsan villagers flee as clashes continue between TNLA and Burmese army

More than 200 civilians in northern Shan State’s Namhsan Township fled their homes this week due to ongoing hostilities between Burma’s armed forces and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), according to a local aid worker.

Sai Ba Nyan, the vice-chairman of the local aid committee in Namtu Township, east of Namhsan, said that 242 people from 68 households abandoned their homes and fled two days ago. Most of them are children and the elderly.

“They are now sheltering in Pokparyong temple in Namtu,” he said. “We are helping as best we can, but it can only be a short-term solution. If the fighting continues and they cannot return home, we will need to rely on help from aid groups.”

According to an August 8 report by the TNLA’s News and Information Department, a clash broke out earlier this week between the TNLA’s battalion 919 and Burmese army division 77 in Khur Khuen village tract in Namhsan Township.

In May, more than 300 residents in Namtu Township fled their homes due to a series of clashes between Burmese government forces and the TNLA.

Clashes between the Burmese army, the TNLA and the Restoration Council of Shan State/ Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) are regularly reported in this area.

The TNLA was among six armed groups excluded from signing the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in 2015 with the then ruling government led by President Thein Sein.

-Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)