The Shan State Army-North (SSA-N) agreed to withdraw troops north of a key highway on Tuesday after two days of talks with government negotiators aimed at addressing conflict which broke out in central Shan State on Oct. 6, leaving thousands of civilians displaced.
A member of the SSA-N told The Irrawaddy the armed group had agreed to withdraw troops from the north side of a highway between Mong Nawng and Kyethi townships following the Dec. 7-8 dialogue in Naypyidaw.
“We will withdraw our troops involved in confrontations with them [the Burma Army]. This is our first priority; to reduce tensions,” said Major Sai Phone Han of the SSA-N. “After this, we hope our IDPs [internally displaced persons] will be able to go home. This is our second priority.”
Fighting between the two sides has recurred since early October, with the Burma Army launching multiple offensives that included aerial support and heavy artillery fire. Between 6,000 and 10,000 civilians were forced to flee their homes to escape clashes which were reported in Mong Hsu, Kyethi and Mong Nawng townships.