Ethnic insurgency in Shan State Burma started in the 1950’s following the refusal of Rangoon leaders to honour the Panglong Agreement of 1947. This granted independence to Burma and regional autonomy within ten years to ethnic States. Since that time various ethnic groups, such as the Wa, Shan, Pa-O have fought the Rangoon government and its army in Shan State.
One of the largest groups was Khun Sa’s Mong Thai Army (MTA) operating in the notorious Golden triangle region, where Burma, Thailand and Laos share borders.
The MTA was formed in April 1985 following the union of two Shan armed groups: Khun Sa’s Shan United Army (SUA) and the Shan United Revolutionary Army (SURA) led by Yord Sek, today leader of the Shan State Army-South.
When the two groups allied, the opium warlord Khun Sa took over leadership of the whole group by gathering a strong military wing estimated to be around 10,000 soldiers in arms. The MTA soon became one of the most powerful opposition groups fighting Burmese troops but also one of the biggest criminal organisations that Rangoon had ever faced.
In the early 90s, in an attempt to offer a better image to the international community, Rangoon government decided to crack down on Khun Sa’s increasingly powerful MTA and its drug empire. With a large number of rebel groups which had already agreed to a cease-fire, the Burmese Army was able to concentrate its military offensives on MTA territory by using the United Wa State Army (UWSA) as a proxi army.
Unable to cope with two fronts, Khun Sa surrendered in January 1996.
Shan base overlooking Wa bases
Weapons and shells abandoned by Wa
Three Wa soldiers of Palaung descent surrendered to the Shan State Army
My understanding was some of these guys were ex-KMT who fled China after Mao's forces took over. Is that accurate?
Not exactly, They are not the same group. Ex-KMT,who escape to Burma-China border are the 3rd and 5th KMT army. But the PLA join with Burmese army push them to Thai territory.Then Thai Government with the CIA escape some of them to Taiwan, but a large group did'nt want to go.Finally Thai Govrnment allow ex-KMT to settle to Thailand but exchange by join with Thai Army to fight the Thai Communist Army.After vanished Thai Communist Army from the area some of ex-KMT's high ranking officer trade drug with U Khun Sa.
General Tuan Hsi - wen Ex-Commander of the 5th Army who's died in 1980.
Last edited by PatricVadec; 05-05-2006 at 04:54 AM.
Throughout the late 1990’s until today, the Burmese Junta engaged violent campaigns against SSA-South troops with the cooperation of the United Wa State Army (UWSA). The fighting on several occasions spilled over into Thailand and in 2002, brought the two countries to the brink of war.
Wa is a burmese-chinese ethnic lived in Chinese border border.They were the backbone of Communist Party of Burma forces(CPB). When the CPB collapsed in March 1989, four main factions emerged following ethnic and military criteria. Among them was the Wa represented by the Burma Democracy Solidarity Party (BDSP). The Wa BDSP forces took over the CPB headquarters at Panghsang on the Chinese border. In May 1989, they agreed to a cease-fire with Rangoon. This agreement authorised Wa leaders to keep their troops in arms, to control their own territory and to do business with China. Burmese troops were not allowed to enter Wa territory without permission from the group. In November 1989, the Wa BDSP established the United Wa State Party (UWSP) and its army (UWSA), approximately 16,000 troops, settled in Northern Shan State.
The cease-fire agreement and the well organised Northern and Southern UWSA Command opened the way for massive expansion of heroin production and traffic.
It was not until 1993-1994 that the UWSA moved into the less complex methamphetamines production.
Yord Sek, leader of SSA: Photo by Andrew Marshall
Ex-Gen. Khin Nyun and Bao Youxiang now's U.W.S.A. commander.
Ex-Gen. Khin Yoon and Bao Youxiang new Drug Kingpin.
U.W.S.A. force insignias.
Shan State's Map
Map of Bayttle Zone.
Thai Border Patrol Police troop observing a Burmese village from across the Thailand - Burma border, Chiang Rai province, Doi Tung.
View of a Burmese crest and of a Burmese Army outpost from the Thai Third Army base of Pang Noon.
Close-up of one of the two Shan State Army South (SSA-S n° 758) outposts (photo 6), within Burma, from the Thai Third Army base of Pang Noon
Close-up view of a United Wa State Army (UWSA n° 171) outpost, within Burma, from the Thai Third Army base of Pang Noon.
Khun SA is looked upon like a hero in Lao community
yeah, I heard the opium king Khun Sa now live in a lakeside villa in the Burmese capital protected by the government after he surrendered his Mong Tai army. A lot of people especially the Shan and other hill-tribe people consider him as freedom fighter. He built schools and hospitals for them, but with drug (opium) money off course.. he also used a lot of child soldiers in his army