Yangon (Chindwin): While Myanmar is currently going through significant upheaval sending the country into absolute chaos as a result of the military coup on 01 February, two of the ethnic armed groups have been busy with their territory control campaign for which the two groups reportedly forced the locals to work in villages of Hsipaw Township, northern Shan State, according to Shan News Herald.
These armed groups also use residential properties owned by the residents.
In villages near the river in Hsipaw Township, the warring Reconstruction Council of Shan State (RCSS) and the Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP) have forced people to work without giving their due hard-earned pay.
The two groups have been locked in a race to fight each other for territory control Since July this year while the country is gradually plunging into a civil war as fighting is simultaneously occurring in various locations – ranging from Demoso, Kayah State to Hakha areas in Chin State.
When everyone in the state is struggling to survive amid the armed conflicts worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic with high infections, the two Shan armies forcefully take boats and motorcycles with no compensation for expenses such as gas or fuel and others.
It is estimated there are five villages under the territories directly controlled by the two Shan armies, and the locals have demanded that the names of the villages be kept anonymous for the safety of the villagers.
Amid the downturns of Myanmar’s economy, and the rise of commodity prices due to the current political turmoil, and Shan State Army (SSA-2) forcibly takes away people’s property and forcing them to work for nothing, which makes their lives harder.
“The people are having a hard time because they are not being paid. They do not have enough to eat or drink. They also have to provide them [the armed group] food and financial supports. The locals are really struggling. Everything including gas prices is going up”, said a 30-year-old woman living in Hsipaw Township.
Also, the Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP) confiscated items from a house in Tarlong Village, Namaghaw Village Tract, Hsipaw Township on 08 October.
According to Shan Rehabilitation Council of Shan State (RCSS) or Shan State Army (SSA) spokesperson Colonel Sai Kham San, they have no information about the details of the incident.
RCSS is a member of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) and recently attending the sixth anniversary of the signing of the Agreement organized by the State Administrative Council.
Of ten signatory members, the Karen National Union (KNU) and Chin National Front/Army (CNF/A) decided not to attend the anniversary.