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NMSP demands return of Tatmadaw-seized highway checkpoints

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The New Mon State Party (NMSP) has called on the Mon State government to expedite the return of three highway checkpoints that were allegedly seized by Tatmadaw forces earlier this year.

The Tatmadaw took control of two NMSP-administered checkpoints along Payathonzu-Thanbyuzayat road, as well as a custom checkpoint in Hti Hpoe Naing village in Kyarinn Seikkyi township, Kayin (Karen) State in February and March. It also detained five NMSP soldiers, the NMSP alleges.

The issue was raised at a meeting between the Mon State government and NMSP representatives in Mawlamyine on November 8.

“We made demands about the arrest of our troops by the Tatmadaw and asked them to [return] our checkpoints that have been seized by the Tatmadaw,” said Nai Win Hla, head of the NMSP’s Home Affairs Department.

Mon State Chief Minister U Aye Zan said that the state government could not resolve the dispute alone and would submit it for consideration to Union-level authorities.

“There are issues [that have been] presented by the NMSP. Some of these issues need to be solved on the state-level but some issues need to be solved on the Union-level. We have to submit them to the higher authority,” he told the media.

The NMSP signed state- and Union-level ceasefires in 2012, but was not a signatory to the October 2015 National Ceasefire Agreement which would allow it greater, official control of its territory.

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