The Rehabilitation Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), one of the ethnic armed groups who have agreed to take part in the nationwide ceasefire agreement, is again in the midst of clashes with the Government, it is reported.
“It is true that skirmishes continue, but they don’t know the place or the cause,” said deputy in charge Sai Maung of the RCSS/SSA liaison office in Taunggyi.
Clashes can occur for various reasons, such as misunderstanding or misfires, but no one can say whether the ceasefire deal will be affected by the fact that clashes have resumed, says one observer familiar with the situation.
“There may have been a misfire, or misunderstanding. So, whenever clashes break out we can’t say that it has an effect on the ceasefire agreement. Therefore, when they do occur, we have to stop or prevent them, take every measure possible to stop them. We have to ask the parties why the clashes broke out. Whenever two people are armed with weapons, there’s always a chance that something like this can happen,” said a man close to the Union peace making work committee (UPWC).
The RCSS/SSA has met several times with President Thein Sein and the UPWC, and has agreed to sign the nationwide ceasefire peace deal scheduled for the end of October. But concern has been raised because clashes have again broken out in the few remaining weeks before the peace deal signing ceremony.
In a report submitted to a seminar in Taunggyi about trust building for peace, the RCSS/SSA say that unity cannot be built without trust, confidence, and mutual respect.