Skirmishes broke out three times between Myanmar’s government troops and the Palaung State Liberation Front/Ta’ang National Liberation Army (PSLF/TNLA) in Kyaukme and Namtsan Townships of Shan State on Saturday, according to reports of the PSLF/TNLA.

There have been nearly 40 instances of fighting between the two groups since the first peace talks between Myanmar’s peace maker group and the PSLF/TNLA were held at the end of July last year.

On Saturday, a skirmish between the government army and Brigades 717, 506 and 502 of the PSLF/TNLA began at about 4 a.m. in Kyaukme Township.

“We have learned that the fighting broke out in Maingngaw and Namttwe villages in Kyaukme Township. The two groups confronted each other while in transit. Currently, there is no discussion between the two sides. Nearly 30 or 40 skirmishes have taken place since the Muse discussion. It is incumbent on the government’s negotiators to hold peace talks. They [the government] said they have been very busy,” said Tar Joke Gar, vice-chairperson of the PSLF/TNLA.

Late on Saturday afternoon, a clash broke out between government troops and a combined force of the PSLF/TNLA and a KIA-affiliated brigade in Pansayi village in Namtsan Township.

Although the government’s Peacemaking Work Committee (PWC) and the Palaung State Liberation Front/Ta’ang National Liberation Army (PSLF/TNLA) held discussions on July 31 to sign ceasefire agreements, skirmishes between the two sides have continued.

To date there have been no individual discussions between the government’s Peacemaking Work Committee and the PSLF/TNLA. However, the PSLF/TNLA did send representatives to a meeting held in Myitgyina Township, Kachin State in early November last year after the Laiza conference in Kachin State. That meeting was attended by the PWC and the National Ceasefire Coordination Team, which was formed by ethnic armed groups and comprised of thirteen leaders.