Talks produce agreement to end Shan State conflict

YANGON — The government and the Shan State Progressive Party last week reached an agreement aimed at ending weeks of fighting in central Shan State that has claimed at least five lives, left scores injured and displaced thousands of villagers, Shan sources said on November 26.

The agreement came at talks in Yangon on November 23 and 24 between delegations headed by the vice-chairman of the government’s Union Peacemaking Working Committee, U Aung Min, and SSPP vice-chairman Sao Khur Tai, the sources said.

It provided for the Tatmadaw and the armed wing of the SSPP, the Shan State Army-North, to withdraw their troops from frontline positions in central Shan State within five days.

The Shan State Army-North “will move its troops to the north of the road connecting Mongnawng and Monghsu and the Tatmadaw will withdraw its troops from the southern part of the road where fighting is still happening,” the sources quoted the agreement as saying.

Reports said the two sides also agreed to cooperate on efforts for the return of the estimated 10,000 villagers displaced after the fighting began in late October in the area around Mongnawng.

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However, sources said villagers displaced by the fighting had fled to many townships throughout Shan State, including its capital, Taunggyi, as well as Lashio, Monghsu, Kyethi, Mongyang and Lai Hka, and it would take time for them to return home.

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