Members of the Shan community sent the letter to armed groups, urging them to meet for talks.
More than 4,000 ethnic Shan people have signed a statement calling on two Shan armed groups to stop fighting one another.
Clashes between the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) and the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) have been occurring since November of last year.
Citing a severe impact on civilians—including deaths, displacement, and a loss of crops—representatives of the Shan community collected signatures in an effort to push the groups toward a peace agreement.
“We sent the petition letter to the leaders of the two Shan armed forces. We demanded Shan leaders consider the future of the Shan people and hold a meeting as soon as possible to stop the clashes,” said one internally displaced person (IDP) behind the initiative, Nang Lao Kham.
The Committee for Shan State Unity also sent a letter to the RCSS and SSPP on New Year’s Eve making similar recommendations—to cease fighting and to meet for talks.
More than 1,600 people have been displaced in Hsipaw Township since December due to armed conflict between the Shan armies. Some have been made IDPs multiple times—villagers from the community of Ner Makhaw have had to flee their homes at least five times over the last year.