The Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) has said that it will not fully adhere to any nationwide ceasefire agreement, but will instead work towards a separate peace deal with the Burmese government.
Speaking to DVB on Tuesday, SSA-S spokesperson Sai La said, “We are participating in the country’s peace process as an ethnic armed organisation; however with regard to the nationwide ceasefire agreement, we will only sign clauses we agree with.
“We are looking forward to further negotiations with the IPMWC [government’s Internal Peace Making Work Committee] about the details we would like to add and amend.”
The Shan rebel announcement comes just two days after a coalition of 17 ethnic armed groups – collectively known as the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) – met with the IPMWC in Rangoon where they agreed to proceed towards the final draft of a ceasefire plan.
The SSA-S, often referred to as the Restoration Council of Shan State or RCSS, on Tuesday said it welcomed the agreement between the NCCT and the IPMWC but maintained that it intends to seek a ceasefire on its own terms.
Sai La said the Shan group has informed Naypyidaw of its decision.
An SSA-S delegation met in January with the IPMWC’s deputy-chair Minister Aung Min who pledged a second round of talks the following month, but the meeting did not go ahead.
The SSA-S has announced it is soliciting the opinions of the Shan population and civil society organisations with regard to the Shan army making peace with the government.
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