Shan State Army – South

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Not to be confused with the Shan State Army - North
Shan State Army - South
Commander in chief Yawd Serk
Founded 1995 (1995)
Merger of Shan State National Army in 2005
Split from Shan State Army
Headquarters Thai-Burma border
Political wing Restoration Council of the Shan State
Ideology Independentism
Shan nationalism
Colors Red and White
Party flag

The Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) (Burmese: ရှမ်းပြည် တပ်မတော် (တောင်ပိုင်း) ), also known as Shan State Army/Restoration Council of the Shan State (SSA/RCSS), sometimes called simply the Shan State Army[1] (although there is also a Shan State Army – North; SSA-N) is one of the bigger rebel factions fighting against the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) regime of Burma. The commander in chief of the SSA is Lieutenant General Yawd Serk.


The Shan State Army – South was formed by Lieutenant General Yawd Serk after the Mong Tai Army/Shan State Restoration Council (MTA/SSRC), which was led by Khun Sa, surrendered to the Burmese Army in January 1995, in Homong Eastern Shan State.

After he refused to surrender with Khun Sa on 27 January 1996, Lieutenant General Sao Yawd Serk was believed to have led around 800 Shan fighters in the central of Shan State, and established the Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) in 1996. He then persuaded the fighters to resume the resistance against the Burmese Army. Shortly after, he was able to recruit a thousand more Shan fighters before returning to the Shan-Thai border.

During their occupation of the Shan-Thai border, SSA-S further managed to recruit significant numbers of troops, and built its headquarters there. In 27 May 2000, SSA-S formed the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), to act as its political wing, with 11 Central Executive Committee members to lead on the political front. General Yawd Serk was chosen to be the chairman of the RCSS. Since the SSA-S formed, it faced constant attacks from the Burmese Army.


The SSA-South has 5 bases along the Thai-Burma border:

  1. Loi Tai Leng - its main base opposite Pang Mapha District, Mae Hong Son
  2. Loi Moong Merng - opposite Muang District, Mae Hong Son
  3. Loi Lam - opposite Wiang Haeng District, Chiang Mai
  4. Loi Hsarm Hsip - opposite Fang district, Chiang Mai
  5. Loi Gaw wann - opposite Mae Fa Luang District, Chiang Rai [2]

Size and armament[edit]

Recent estimates place the size of the SSA around fifteen thousand troops. The Leader of the SSA is Lieutenant General Yawd Serk. Despite being isolated in the mountains of the Shan State, the SSA has managed to procure large quantities of weapons from both China and the United States. Unlike most rebel forces, the SSA have uniforms and go through a seven week boot-camp to prepare them for combat with Government forces.

Known equipment includes the M16 rifle, AK-47, RPD, FN MAG, RPK, M79, USAS-12, Mortars, RPG-7 and M203.[citation needed]


On May 21, 2005, the Shan State Army pledged to work with the Shan State National Army against the SPDC to achieve the independence of the Shan State.[3]

In December 2008, the Shan State Congress (SSC) was formed at Loi Taileng under the aegis of Yawd Serk. It includes non-Shan groups as well with members from:

  1. Lahu Democratic Union (LDU)
  2. Pa-O National Liberation Organization(PNLO)
  3. Restoration Council of Shan State (SSA’s political arm)
  4. Tai Coordination Committee(TCC) and
  5. Wa National Organization(WNO).[4]

There was a Six State Military Alliance with the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), Chin National Front (CNF), Kachin National Organization (KNO), Karen National Union (KNU) and Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), formed earlier but dormant for some years, and Yawd Serk expressed the need to revive this in anticipation of the 2010 elections.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ RCSS/SSA Holds Opening Ceremony of Military Training
  2. ^ "Shan army set to cast a wide net". S.H.A.N., 8 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  3. ^ "Shan rebels unite against Rangoon". BBC Burmese. May 24, 2005. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  4. ^ a b "Shan State Congress formed". S.H.A.N., 24 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 

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