Northern Alliance and Govt fail to meet for peace

28 October 2017
Northern Alliance and Govt fail to meet for peace
Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) meeting held at Thingaha Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw on February 6 at 10 a.m. Photo: Min Min/Mizzima

The Myanmar Government and the Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) based in northern Myanmar had meetings for five months but two-party talks have yet to materialize.
With intervention and mediation by the Chinese government, this northern alliance attended the second meeting of Union Peace Conference, 21st Century Panglong Conference, held at the end of May this year and this was the last meeting between them.
The government wants to meet this northern alliance separately or in a group of two or three organizations but the latter groups want to meet government as an alliance group in the name of the Federal Peace Negotiations Consultative Committee (FPNCC).
FPNCC consists of seven EAOs, namely the Sino-Myanmar border-based United Wa State Army (UWSA), Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), Arakan Army (AA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) or Kokang group, National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) or Mongla group, Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP). This alliance group was formed in April this year.
TNLA spokesperson Brig. Gen. Tar Bone Kyaw said, “We have not yet received an invitation. If they invite us in groups of two to three organizations separately, we have to discuss this issue in our FPNCC. It will depend on how we are invited.”
He added that all EAOs fighting with the government were in the FPNCC so that they could have practical discussions on ending the ongoing hostilities.
Brig. Gen. Tar Bone Kyaw said, “If they meet us one by one separately it will not stop the fighting when one organization has a ceasefire with the government while another organization will be in fighting. If they meet our committee (FPNCC), we can provide a practical ceasefire.”
Government spokesman and Peace Commission member, State Counsellor Office Director General Zaw Htay said at a press conference held in Yangon on October 24 that the reason they were unable to meet all as FPNCC was that some of them had not yet signed bilateral agreements with the government while UWSA, NDAA and SSPP had signed this agreement with the government.
Ethnic Affairs and Political analyst Maung Maung Soe said that those which had not yet signed bilateral agreements should complete this work first and it would be better if the political dialogue could be made under the name of FPNCC.
“The current situation is stalled. I think we need a mediator among them. Currently the only mediator available is the Chinese government,” Maung Maung Soe said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry, Asia Affairs Special Envoy Mr. Sun Guoxiang who works to mediate between the government and the northern alliance as primary mediator, met State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Commander in Chief Min Aung Hlaing at the end of October this year.