United Wa State Army

United Wa State Army

United Wa State Army (UWSA) is the army of an estimated twenty thousand soldiers of Myanmar's Special Region No. (2) (There is no recognised Wa State in Myanmar: Myanmar is divided into divisions, states, and special regions). Its leader is Bao You-Xiang.United Wa State Army is the military wing of the United Wa State Party (UWSP). The towns of Pangshang and Mong Pawk are within the area of this special region. The UWSA currently backs a counterinsurgency strategy of the Myanmar Army against the Shan StateArmy-South (SSA-S).

The United States government labelled the UWSA as a narcotics-trafficking organization on May 29 2003. On November 3 2005, The United States Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control listed 11 individuals and 16 companies that were "part of the financial and commercial network of designated significant foreign narcotics trafficker Wei Hsueh-kang and the United Wa State Army (UWSA)." The UWSA is said to be the largest drug-producing organization in Southeast Asia. In addition to the traditional Golden Triangle export of opiates, it is said to produce methamphetamine, or yaa baa, which is not only much cheaper and easier to manufacture than heroin, but also more affordable. Thai authorities have denounced methamphetamine production, trafficking, and consumption as a national security threat.

Arms Supply

According to Jane's Intelligence Review in April 2008, China has become the main source of arms to the United Wa State Army, displacing traditional black market sources in South East Asia such as Thailand and Cambodia.

External links and references

* [http://www.geopium.org/yaabaa-methamphetamine-production-traffic-consumption.htm Chouvy, Pierre-Arnaud & Meissonnier, Joël, "Yaa Baa. Production, traffic, and consumption of methamphetamine in Mainland Southeast Asia", Singapore University Press, 2004]
* [http://www.geopium.org/Myanmar-UWSA-AsiaTimes-chouvy2004.html Chouvy, Pierre-Arnaud, "Myanmar's Wa: Likely Losers in the Opium War", 24 January 24 2004, Asia Times]
* [http://www.geopium.org/Photos/Thailand2006/Photos-Thailand-2006-Thai-Burma-Border.htm Photos of United Wa State Army (UWSA) and Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) military outposts along the border of Thailand, Chiang Rai province]
*"U.S. Links 11 Individuals, 16 Companies to Burma Drug Syndicate." Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. November 4, 2005.
*Jack Picone. "A Gentler War on Drugs." Utne, September-October 2005, pp. 68-71; originally in [http://www.colorsmagazine.com/ Colors] magazine (Winter 2004-05)
* [http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/BONDAGE.htm The Bondage of Opium - a proposal and a plea] UWSP
* [http://www.indianexpress.com/story/312894.html China emerging as main source of arms to N-E rebels: Jane’s Review, Indian Express, Accessed: 08-06-2008]

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