News release on the engagement between RCSS/SSA group and Tatmadaw columns near Hokhe Village in Mongkai Township
Nay Pyi Taw March 1
Armed clashes broke out between a Tatmadaw column ensuring area security in the southeast of Hokhe Village in Mongkai Township, Shan State (South) and RCSS/SSA group from about 8 am and about 4 pm on 27 February 2020. As regards the incident, the RCSS/SSA group sent a letter informing about the matter to National Reconciliation and Peace Centre (NRPC) and announcing false news through the media.
The area where the clashes took place is about 200 kilometres in the north outside Homein and Monehta areas agreed by the Union-level peace team and RCSS/SSA group in January and May 2012. Moreover, the commander of the local military affairs security unit himself had informed Sai Aung Mein, relations in-charge of RCSS/SSA group in Kolam, at about 9 am on 22 February 2020 that the Tatmadaw columns would take area security measures in the area after receiving a tip off about the drugs. The information also notified the RCSS/SSA group to remove its troops in case they were outside its designated area.
After sending the information, the Tatmadaw gave five days for the RCSS/SSA group to act in accord with the information in time, and only after five days the Tatmadaw columns were systematically regrouped and started their area control measures to combat drugs. The Tatmadaw took security measures of the region with a trust that RCSS/SSA would follow its advance information. But, RCSS/SSA opened fire at the military columns of the Tatmadaw, leaving some officers and other ranks, dead and injured.
As such, the Tatmadaw carried out security and control measures of the regions where RCSS/SSA entered beyond their area. The Tatmadaw columns arrived at point 1760 camp hillock where RCSS/SSA temporarily stationed beyond their area, about 6,000 metres north of Hamngai Village in Mongkai Township this morning and around point 1781 camp hillock and environs, about 2,500 metres north of the aforesaid camp hill. A total of 19 logged bankers, 87 earthen bankers, residential huts, communicated drains and pits of barbs were found there.
In the incidents, RCSS/SSA group violated ceasefire rules and disciplines involved in the NCA and provisions in the Chapter III of Code of Conduct in addition to the agreements kept with the Union-
level peace team. Acts of RCSS/SSA group harm the peace process, and RCSS/SSA needs to station in the designated areas included in the agreement.