Armed Shan group holds talks with government

Armed Shan group holds talks with government

Delegations from the Shan State Progressive Party (Shan State Army-North) and the government’s Internal Peace Making Committee have met in northern Shan state’s Lashio for peace talks.

The meeting was held at Shweli Yadana Hall at the Burmese Army’s Northeast Regional Military Command and attended by the SSPP’s General Secretary Sao Khun Sai and Ethnic Affair’s Minister Aung Min.

Myanmar Egress’s Vice President Hla Maung Shwe, who is helping advise the government’s negotiators, told DVB that the SSPP addressed the resettlement of 3,500 displaced residents in Monghsu and Tangyang townships, working on regional development and establishing demarcation areas in Shan state where its troops and Burmese Army have been fighting.

“There were two [topics] in the discussion – resettlement, development and secondly demarcation,” said Hla Maung Shwe.

According to a report in the Shan Herald, the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N) was “facing an ultimatum to withdraw from another stronghold” ahead of the latest round of talks. Although the SSA-N signed a union-level ceasefire agreement in January with the government, the armed group clashed with the military several times over the course of the summer.

In early July, the SSA-N sent a letter to President Thein Sein signed by Major General Pang Fa calling on the leader to restrain the army to prevent further violence from escalating.

The SSA-N has said if fighting continues, the group will consider annulling the union-level ceasefire agreement they signed with the government’s Peace Making Committee on 28 January.

Although the government signed a raft of ceasefire deals earlier in the year with armed ethnic groups across the country, Burmese troops continue to engage in brief skirmishes with the rebel armies, which observers say is a sign that the military isn’t always willing to live up to the agreements brokered by union politicians.

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