Min Aung Hlaing and Yawd Serk, leader of the Restoration Council of Shan State, are two strongmen locked in a dysfunctional relationship.
Observers think the Arakan Army has been asking the United Wa State Army for arms, especially anti-aircraft weapons, to deter repeated Myanmar junta airstrikes.
The United Wa State Army, which controls extensive territory in eastern Myanmar’s Shan State, has promoted younger men to senior positions.
A deadline for the Shan State Progress Party to remove three bases in Mong Hsu has expired and regime reinforcements are arriving.
Myanmar’s parallel National Unity Government said the military regime has no mandate to negotiate or govern the country.
The United Wa State Army is thought to be one of a number of ethnic armed organizations secretly supplying the resistance with weapons.
The Karen National Union is accused of being willing to swap drugs for weapons, despite having no history of narcotics trafficking.
The United Wa State Army and Restoration Council of Shan State reportedly clashed this week as groups in the state fight over territory.
The United Wa State Army has deployed hundreds of soldiers to southern Shan State, raising fears that it will clash with the rival Restoration Council of Shan State.