A unit of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), armed wing of Karen National Union (KNU) invaded and opened fire at the The-chaung base of Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA), the armed wing of New Mon State Party (NMSP), in Yebyu Township, Tarnintharyi Region, yesterday morning.
After the KNLA’s initial gunfire at the MNLA unit office based in The-chaung area, MNLA troops soon retaliated, and the exchange from both sides took place for 15 minutes at around 5:30AM, on January 11. Following the morning’s fight, both sides launched fresh attacks at 12:30PM that same day for another 10 minutes between The-Chaung and Tawlawi plantations, according to an official from the NMSP’s Tavoy-District.
“Early this morning [January 11], the KNLA troops fired roughly 40 times using large artillery rounds. In the process, our office building was damaged,” said the official from the NMSP’s Tavoy-District.As a result of the attack, two men from the MNLA’s unit were wounded, with one seemed to be sent to hospital carrying serious injuries, according to NMSP Headquarters.
After inquiring for the facts, MNA found out that a joint-force of 40 men from company 2 and company 3 of the KNU’s Brigade 4 came to attack the NMSP’s The-chaung base.
It was reportedly stated that after the NMSP signed state level and union level ceasefire agreements with the government, The-chaung base is one of the 18 bases the NMSP’s troops had agreed with the government to be stationed at. The-chaung base is under NMSP’s Battalion No. 2 control in the area of Kin-chaung-pyar, Yebyu Township.
However, although the KNU already signed state level and union level as well as the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) with the government, there is no demarcation for the KNU in the area yet.
The troops from the KNU’s Brigade 4 and the NMSP’s Tavoy-District Unit had exchanged fire four times [from] late 2016, a result of trespassing into the NMSP’s controlled territory.
On September 11, 2016, 3 representatives from the NMSP and the KNU respectively, held a meeting and founded a liaison committee to prevent any armed engagement by both sides based in Yebyu Township.