Many hurdles remain in peace process, says think tank

19 December 2017
Many hurdles remain in peace process, says think tank
This photo taken on June 26, 2017 shows members of the United Wa State Army jumping off from a car as they arrive in Poung Par Khem region, near the Thai and Myanmar border. Photo: Ye Aung Thu/AFP

A new briefing by the Myanmar Insititute for Peace and Securitys (MIPS) has further highlighted the current conflicts taking place in the country, in relation to Rakhine state the organisations notes,
‘The Tatmadaw’s resolution to expel the AA from Paletwa and the northernmost reaches of Rakhine State mean that clashes are certain to continue. The fighting appears to be contained within an approximate area of 250 square miles, but if the fighting spreads beyond this zone the number of affected civilians will likely increase.  The Hindu reported on November 28 that the fighting had already caused 1,300 locals to seek refuge in India.’
The report also notes that, ‘While the local Chin population in Paletwa does not welcome the AA presence, the armed group enjoys broad support in Buthidaung, Kyauktaw, and Minbya townships, especially among Rakhine youth.’
In regards to conflict in Northern Myanmar and the peace process the organisation states that, ‘ The government firmly maintains that it does not recognize the Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee (FPNCC) as a dialogue partner but has demonstrated an ability to find alternative ways to separately engage the UWSA and NDAA.’
In relation to the peace process, the report concludes, “The standoff between the government and the UNFC [non-signatory United Nationalities Federal Council] may not be easily resolved. In the meantime, the New Mon State Party (NMSP) held its Central Committee meeting where it reportedly endorsed the signing of the NCA. Whether or not the UNFC will sign the NCA in the near future remains to be seen, but the UNFC may not be able to participate in the upcoming UPC if they do not sign beforehand. The FPNCC has by now made it unequivocally clear that it will not accept the NCA as a path toward peace, while the government shows no willingness to engage politically with the FPNCC. Although it expressed an intent to develop a new peace process, the alliance has not yet outlined what that approach might look like.’