Friday, May 29, 2009

Surrender groups to be transformed as police force

By Hseng Khio Fah

(Shanland) All armed groups in Shan State that had surrendered have been told to become police units by June, just as the ceasefire groups will be transformed as border guard force before the upcoming general 2010 elections.

On 17 May, all the surrender groups were summoned to regional commands in Taunggyi and Lashio.
[Moeng Zeun, Shan State Army’s former 758th Brigade commander]

Moeng Zeun, Shan State Army’s former 758th Brigade commander

The Pa-O National Organization (PNO) led by Aung Kham Hti and Moeng Zeun, Shan State Army’s former 758th Brigade commander, will be reorganized as Special Commando Police forces.

The PNO, formed in 1976, concluded a ceasefire agreement with Rangoon in 1991. Its leader Aung Kham Hti is also a co-chairman of the junta-organized Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) Shan State South branch. Moeng Zeun’s Namhu militia surrendered on 17 July 2006.

However, Moeng Zeun was killed in the attack on 24 May between Namhu and Kholam, Namzang Township, 72 miles east of Taunggyi, by the Shan State Army (SSA-South) patrol.

His funeral services will be concluded today (Friday 29).

On 26 May, there was another clash again between Mongkeung and Laikha at 47th milestone. One Namhu militia member who was on his way to Moeng Zeun’s funeral with his commander Sai Ta was reportedly killed.

According to the SSA spokeman, Maj Lao Hseng, there have been four clashes within this month between the SSA and the Burma Army, during which the rebels had inflicted more than 20 casualties and seized more than 20 assorted weapons.

Since early 2009, the Burma Army has been forcing villages in several townships in Shan State to set up militia units.
It has also been giving military trainings for militias. In addition, villagers over 18 years old are being ordered to join fire brigades or Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA).

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