Last modified: 2012-05-20 by ian macdonald
Keywords: wa | myanmar |
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"Courrier International" #773, 25 August 2005, gives the translation of a paper
by Xiaoning originally published in "Waitan Huabao", Shangai (People's Republic
The United Wa State Army (USWA) is the biggest of the armed groups not controlled by the government of Myanmar, in spite of the obsolescence of its weapons. It has 20,000 professional soldiers and 40,000 civilian recruits. Its leader Bao Yuxiang is considered by the American government as "the third leader of a terrorist organization to be suppressed after Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein". A reward of 3 million USD is offered for his capture. Bao, the sixth of the eight children of the chief of a Wa tribe, founded with his elder son Bao Yuyi and his uncle Bao Sanban an anti-government guerrilla movement. In the 1960s, he joined the Burmese Communist Party, then fighting the central government.. In 1989, he left the Party and found his own army, coming to a peace agreement with the ruling junta. With his 40,000 soldiers, he founded the Autonomous Wa State and helped the army of Myanmar in its fight against Khun Sa, the lord of the Golden Triangle (see Shan Army). After Khun Sa's fall in 1996, Bao became the new lord of the Golden Triangle. In 2005, the government of the Wa State announced that all the poppy cultures in the State should be eradicated and that sowing of new fields in autumn 2005 will be strictly prohibited. Yuxiang claims he wants to transform the Wa State into a tourist region and economic zone; he already owns the "Mayflower Myanmar Group", which controls the biggest bank in Myanmar, and he owns all the shares of the Myanmar national airline.
Ivan Sache, 1 May 2006