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Gov’t commander’s ‘ultimatum’ on hold

A Burmese commander issued an ultimatum to the Shan State Progress Party / Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) in July to withdraw from its current territory within five days or face military operations in the area.

The Shan State Army South. Photo: MizzimaSince the ultimatum, however, there has been no military action, only sporadic clashes and exchanges of artillery fire.
Even so, nine government battalions now surround the SSPP/SSA headquarters in Wan Hai Village in Kehsi Township, a source close to the SSA told the Shan Herald on Monday.

The SSA said continuing attacks on its bases by government troops has disrupted the peace process agreed to between the two sides in February.

The July threat came as both sides were involved in stalled peace talks.

Despite the cease-fire agreement, there have been more than 23 clashes between the government and the SSPP/SSA since the cease-fire.

In June, Mizzima reported on heavy artillery fire between the two sides in Monghsu Township.

The SSA said on June 30 the Burmese army moved its forward base closer to its lines in preparation to stage an attack.

In May, the government’s Union Peacemaking Work Committee was reshuffled to include top military commanders in an effort to strengthen the peacemaking process.

“Aung Min (Naypyitaw’s chief peace negotiator) told us in Kengtung that now that the military was on board he was confident there would be no more fighting,” said a Shan source. “But it seems the Army has its own agenda.”
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 August 2012 15:10 )  

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