On Tuesday, the same day that Myanmar President Thein Sein told an audience in London that “guns will go silent everywhere in Myanmar for the very first time in over 60 years," a ceasefire was broken between the Mon army and Myanmar’s government forces.
According to Capt. Ta Mot Chen, the Myeik District Regional Commander of the New Mon State Party (NMSP), a short battle erupted between the NMSP and government forces battalion 581 on the morning of July 16.
It was the first reported outbreak of violence between the two sides since a ceasefire was signed 18 years ago.
The Mon captain said the skirmish only lasted a few minutes. However he confirmed that two NMSP soldiers were killed and that he believed the Myanmar army also suffered casualties.
Ta Mot Chan accused the Myanmar forces of initiating the hostilities, saying they opened fire on the two Mon soldiers who were on sentry duty.
A 1995 ceasefire agreement between the two sides was annulled in 2010 when the Mons refused to join the government’s Border Guard Force initiative. However, new terms were renegotiated in February 2012 and a fresh ceasefire agreement was made.