The Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) has withdrawn its troops from its military camp in Mong Kung Township in southern Shan State, in what representatives of the armed group describe as a gesture to end three days of clashes with the Burma Army.
Government forces and the RCSS began fighting in Ham Ngai village tract on February 27.
Maj Kham San, a spokesperson for the RCSS, said that Shan troops withdrew from Loi Tung camp near the village tract on March 1 after a meeting took place between leaders from both forces.
“They discussed the current clashes between the two forces. We withdrew from the camp because we didn’t want a cancellation of peace negotiation talks,” Maj Kham San told SHAN. “If our troops withdraw from there, [the Burma Army] won’t come in. If they don’t come in, there will be no clashes,” he explained.
On March 1, the Office of the Commander-in-Chief of the Burma Army reported on its website that the Burma Army had informed the RCSS’s liaison office in Kholam that its military columns would be patrolling the area to follow up on reports of drugs there.
The letter from the Burma Army reportedly stated that if RCSS were present in the area, the needed to withdraw.
“As far as I know, they gave a letter to our Kholam liaison office about a [government] minister who was having an official trip to the area and that our troops should avoid the area. That’s all it was about,” Maj Kham San told SHAN.
During the three days of fighting, some 300 locals in Ham Ngai village tract fled to area monasteries to seek refuge. They all reportedly returned to their homes on March 1 after the clashes ended.