Mon head back as fighting dies down
published : 3 Dec 2019 at 19:41
writer: Piyarat Chongcharoen
KANCHANABURI: More than 1,000 Mon villagers are set to return to Myanmar after fighting between Mon rebels and the Nay Pyi Taw-backed Border Guard Force (BGF) eased off.
The villagers fled to Thailand when clashes flared up last Wednesday between Myanmar forces and the Mon National Liberation Army at Ban Bo Yipun, a Mon-held area located two kilometres from Three Pagodas Pass in Kanchanaburi’s Sangkhla Buri district.
A source close to the situation said yesterday that Myanmar forces agreed to withdraw from Ban Bo Yipu after leaders of the two sides met on Monday night at Payatongsu in Myanmar.
A combined force of government and BGF troops reportedly began leaving the village on Monday, paving the way for Mon refugees to return from makeshift camps at Tao Tan and Song Kalia monasteries.
Tensions were strained by the killing of an officer from the Myanmar-BGF force, which then demanded that the Mon army surrender the three officers responsible, said the source.
The Myanmar-BGF force was earlier accused of breaking the National Ceasefire Agreement by entering the Mon-held area without prior notice. The violation triggered hostilities between the two sides on Nov 24.
The situation is now easing, with border trade beginning to return to normal, the source said.