Military Recovers 'Important' Equipment Seized by Shan Rebel Group

By Kyaw Kha 14 February 2019

YANGON — The Myanmar military says it has recovered equipment recently seized by the Restoration Council of Shan State (RSCC) in eastern Shan State.

“They are restricted military equipment — in other words, important equipment for the military. We have got them back,” military spokesman Brig. Gen. Zaw Min Tun told The Irrawaddy.

On Tuesday evening, about 50 RCSS members collecting money from motorists on the highway between Mong Ping and Kengtung stopped a vehicle ferrying two military commanders and seized the military equipment on board with them, the military’s True News Information Team said in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement said the ethnic armed group’s seizure of equipment it knew belonged to the military posed a major challenge to creating a lasting peace, adding that the military would take unspecified action if it was not returned immediately.

Brig. Gen. Zaw Min Tun said the RCSS returned the equipment on Wednesday evening.

“Relations will return to normal because we are also working toward peace,” he added.

The RCSS could not be reached for comment.

On the Taifreedom website, the RCSS said the military had fired artillery at one of its posts near its headquarters in the town of Loi Tai Leng on Wednesday at noon, and at another of its posts in Mong Tong Township along the Thai-Myanmar border that evening.

The RCSS is a signatory to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement but has not engaged in official peace talks with the government since October.

In December the military declared a unilateral four-month ceasefire effective through April in active conflict areas in north and northeast Myanmar.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.