Speaking on May 4, U Khaing Thu Kha, an executive member of the Arakan Liberation Party said “We, the Rakhine armed groups, should be guarding the routes where illegal immigrants are entering our country, however we do not wish to do so under the government’s current ‘Border Guard Force’ arrangements. ”
The ALP operate within territory stretching from Butheedaung township in the Maungdaw District of central Rakhine State, heading northwards to Paletwa, Chin State and are signatories to the Union government’s state level ceasefire agreement.
U Khaing Thu Kha, said that the government has thus far rejected their requests to co-operate on these patrols.
A second armed group, the Arakan Army, who are not signatories to the Union-wide ceasefire agreement, also told Mizzima Daily on May 4, that although they have not discussed this matter with the government, they are considering the option.
“We intend to negotiate and work together with the Union Government for the security of our Rakhine State. However, we must first negotiate with the government and make our decision as to whether it would be most productive to cooperate or continue to work on our own,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Kyaw Han, Arakan Army, whose troops are based in Lai Zar Township, Kachin State.
U Khaing Thu Kha said that the ALP was currently in negotiation with the Arakan Army with the possibility of combining their forces to work as a united force.
He said that talks have been ongoing now for two years, resulting in three official negotiations and an agreement to establish a coordination committee, he said he expected negotiations to be complete within the year.