Shan State Army - South

The Shan State Army - South (Shan: တပ်ႉသိုၵ်းၸိုင်ႈတႆး - ပွတ်းၸၢၼ်း; abbreviated SSA-S), also known simply as the Shan State Army, is the armed wing of the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and one of the largest insurgent groups in Myanmar (Burma).[1][4] The SSA-S was led by Lieutenant General Yawd Serk until his resignation on 3 February 2014.[5] Yawd Serk was reelected chairman of the RCSS shortly after his resignation and has remained chairman since.

Shan State Army - South
တပ်ႉသိုၵ်းၸိုင်ႈတႆး - ပွတ်းၸၢၼ်း
Participant in the Internal conflict in Myanmar
Flag of the Shan State Army - South
Active26 January 1996 (1996-01-26) – present
IdeologyShan nationalism
LeadersLt. Gen. Yawd Serk (1996–2014)
HeadquartersLoi Tai Leng, Shan State, Myanmar
Area of operationsShan State,
MyanmarChina border,
MyanmarThailand border
Allies Arakan Liberation Army

Chin National Army
Kachin Independence Army
Karen National Liberation Army

Karenni Army
Opponent(s)State opponents

Non-state opponents

Battles and war(s)Internal conflict in Myanmar
Originated as
Mong Tai Army

Shan United Revolutionary Army

Shan State National Army
(Merged with the SSA-S in 2005)


On 26 January 1996, Lieutenant General Yawd Serk of the Shan United Revolutionary Army (SURA) led 800 soldiers under his command to central Shan State and established the Shan State Army - South, after he refused to surrender to government forces with fellow commander Khun Sa. He then recruited roughly a thousand more soldiers before returning to southern Shan State and establishing the group's headquarter, Loi Tai Leng.

On 27 May 2000, the SSA-S formed the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) as its political wing, and elected eleven Central Executive Committee members to lead the political front. Yawd Serk was elected chairman of the RCSS, and would remain in office until his resignation on 3 February 2014.[5]

On 21 May 2005, the SSA-S pledged to work with the Shan State National Army (SSNA) against the then ruling military junta to achieve independence for Shan State. Later that year, the SSNA agreed to merge with the SSA-S.[6]

In December 2008, the Shan State Congress (SSC) was formed in Loi Tai Leng under the aegis of Yawd Serk, which would exist until 2010. Its members included groups such as the Lahu Democratic Union (LDU), the Pa-O National Liberation Organisation (PNLO), the Restoration Council of Shan State, Tai Coordination Committee (TCC) and the Wa National Organisation (WNO).[7]

Prior to the establishment of the SSC, the SSA-S maintained a six-member alliance with the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), the Chin National Front (CNF), the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP); however, the alliance remained dormant for several years, prompting Yawd Serk to express his desire to revive the alliance in anticipation for the 2010 general election.[7]

On 16 January 2012, the government and the SSA-S signed a mutual agreement with the following 11 points:[citation needed][needs update]

  1. To allow SSA-S headquarters in Homain sub-township and Mong Hat sub-township
  2. To negotiate and arrange the resettlement of SSA-S troops and their families in the locations mentioned in the first point
  3. The appointment by the SSA-S of village heads in the region, which would work with government official for township administration;
  4. Government soldiers in Homain sub-township and Mong Hat sub-township will give help to the SSA-S
  5. Both sides will discuss and negotiate to arrange for the security of SSA-S leaders
  6. Government troops and the SSA-S would negotiate to designate areas where they could enter border areas;
  7. Each side agreed to inform the other side in advance if one side wants to enter the other's control area with weapons
  8. To open liaison offices between the government and the SSA-S in Taunggyi, Kholam, Kengtung, Mong Hsat and Tachileik and trading offices in Muse and Nanhkam
  9. Government ministers will arrange for SSA-S members to run businesses and companies in accord with existing policies, by providing aid and the required technology
  10. To co-operate with the union government for regional development
  11. To co-operate with the government in making plan for battling drug trafficking


The SSA-South has main 5 bases established across the Myanmar-Thailand border:[8]

  • Loi Tai Leng - its main base of operations, near Pang Mapha District, Mae Hong Son, Thailand
  • Loi Moong Merng - near Muang District, Mae Hong Son, Thailand
  • Loi Lam - near Wiang Haeng District, Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Loi Hsarm Hsip - near Fang district, Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Loi Gaw wann - near Mae Fa Luang District, Chiang Rai, Thailand

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Myanmar Peace Monitor - Restoration Council of Shan State".
  2. ^ Burma center for Ethnic Studies, Jan. 2012, "Briefing Paper No. 1"
  3. ^ Finney, Richard; Mar (translator), Khet (2 August 2018). "300 Myanmar Villagers Flee Township as Ethnic Armies Approach". Radio Free Asia. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  4. ^ "RCSS/SSA Holds Opening Ceremony of Military Training".
  5. ^ a b Htwe, Nan Tin (3 February 2014). "Shan shocked as Yawd Serk quits SSA-S". Myanmar Times. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Shan rebels unite against Rangoon". BBC Burmese. 24 May 2005. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  7. ^ a b "Shan State Congress formed". S.H.A.N., 24 December 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2009.
  8. ^ "Shan army set to cast a wide net". S.H.A.N., 8 June 2009. Retrieved 12 June 2009.

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