The Shan State Army (SSA) South and the United Wa State Army (UWSA) that has been laying a siege to the former’s Loi Gawwan base, between Burma’s Monghsat township and Thailand’s Chiangrai province, have concluded a 4 point agreement yesterday thus ending a 4 day suspense that began Saturday, 16 June.
The 4 points, according to Col Gawn Zeun, Commander of Loi Gawwan-based Kengtung Force, are:
- The SSA agrees not to establish new bases closer to those of the UWSA
- Non-encroachment on each other’s territory
- Notification of one’s movements to the other in common territory
- Agreement for Shan IDPs to resume their farming projects (suspended since 16 June)
Both the negotiation and the agreement reached were conducted through cell phone communications between him and Yang Guojong, Commander of Hwe Aw-based 775th Brigade, 171st Military Region of the UWSA, who speaks fluent Shan.
The UWSA had dispatched 60 truck-loads of its troops to Loi Gawwan, following reports that the SSA was setting new bases close to the UWSA’s. The SSA denied saying these were no military bases, only rice and maize corn fields cultivated by the IDPs (Internally Diplaced Persons), after foreign donors had cut down food assistance.
Asked by SHAN whether the underlying cause might be the Wa suspicion that the SSA would be launching operations against the UWSA, notorious for its drug-tainted image, in cooperation with the Burma Army, the SSA leader Lt-Gen Yawdserk replied:
“The peace process we have adopted is focused not only on Naypyitaw, but on all the stakeholders, especially ethnic nationalities such as Wa, Lahu and PaO, with whom we have lived together in the same state since time immemorial.”