Ethnic Armed Groups Meet at SSA-South Headquarters Skip to main content

Ethnic Armed Groups Meet at SSA-South Headquarters

Soldiers of the Shan State Army-South on parade in Loi Tai Leng on Shan State National Day on Feb. 7, 2010.

Representatives of two ethnic armed groups traveled to Loi Tai Leng, headquarters of the Shan State Army-South (SSA-South), this week to meet with its leader for discussions aimed at expanding a new alliance of ethnic armies opposed to Burma's ruling regime, according to a source close to the SSA-South.

The representatives, from the Karenni National Progressive party (KNPP) and a Lahu armed group, discussed the alliance with SSA-South leader Lt-Gen Yawd Serk during festivities to mark the Shan New Year, the source said on Wednesday.

“They mainly talked about military collaboration and analyzed the current political situation,” the source said, adding that other groups unable to send representatives to the gathering sent New Year's greetings to the SSA-South.

The source said that further discussions may be held based on the outcome of the meeting at Loi Tai Leng.

The SSA-South is not part of an ethnic alliance formed on the Thai-Burmese border on Nov. 5, but may join if the ongoing negotiations are successful.

The current members of the alliance are the KNPP, the Chin National Front, the Kachin Independence Army, the New Mon State Party, the Karen National Union and the Shan State Army-North.

There was also ambassadorship training held in Loi Tai Leng from Nov. 24 to Dec. 5 for representatives of the foreign affairs department of the Restoration Council of Shan State, which is also led by Yawd Serk.

Yawd Serk is a former member of the Mong Tai Army, which was led by Khun Sa. He later formed the Shan United Revolutionary Army, which changed its name to the Shan State Army-South.

The SSA-South is estimated to have at least 7,000 troops, according to observers.


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