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Shan forces want talks with peacemaking group

Facing an ultimatum to withdraw from a military stronghold, the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) said it would seek to meet with the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC) to resolve the issue.

Leaders and troops from SSPP  Photo: SSPP
Leaders and troops from SSPP  Photo: SSPP 
It did not say when a meeting would take place, according to a report on the Shan Herald website on Tuesday.

The SSA said it recently fought in two battles defending two mountain bases near the Salween River crossings that connect it to its Wa allies east of the river. It had withdrawn from that ara after negotiations the UPWC.

Early this month, the group was told to abandon the Ta Hsarm Pu crossing on the Pang River, a tributary of the Salween River, between Mongnawng (Kehsi Township) and Mongzang (Monghsu Township), by Oct. 5.

The SSA North that has been involved in an antimony mine in the area for years, and it refused to move, bringing the two sides to the current stand off.

In spite of cease-fire agreements, peace is proving elusive in Shan and Kachin states, where clashes continue causing both sides to remain distrustful and cautious about the other side’s intentions.

On Aug. 21, Mizzima reported that 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 against it.

Since the ultimatum, however, there has been only sporadic clashes and exchanges of artillery fire with no large-scale offensives.

At the time, nine government battalions surrounded the SSPP/SSA headquarters in Wan Hai Village in Kehsi Township.

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, said SSA officials.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 10 October 2012 13:01 )  

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