Tatmadaw Extends Unilateral Ceasefire, Rakhine area still excluded

The NRPC said the Army decided to extend its truce after meeting with the Northern Alliance.

By Network Media Group

May 1, 2019

The Burmese Army is extending a four-month unilateral ceasefire by two-months but excluding Rakhine State where fighting is currently underway with the Arakan Army (AA).

Speculation as to why the Tatmadaw would choose to exclude the area of the Western Military Command where it’s fighting with AA is a hot topic among political analysts. It was excluded in the first truce.

In an official statement by the office of commander-in-chief, it said the two-month extension would affect five military command regions (northern, north-east, central-east, eastern and triangle) starting April 30 until June 30.

The Tatmadaw announced the extension after a meeting between the government’s National Reconciliation and Peace Center (NRPC) and Northern Military Alliance member groups yesterday.

Non-signatories of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) discussed the signing of cease-fire during the meeting and requested an extension of the truce, according to the office of commander-in-chief’s statement.

During the meeting, members of the Northern Military Alliance expressed interest in signing a bilateral ceasefire agreement as early as this month when the next meeting is expected to happen.

NRPC said the Tatmadaw decided to extend the truce based on the positive outcome in the meeting.” I believe it will help the peace process move forward,” said U Zaw Htay, from NRPC.

“There is a lot of fighting between the Burma army and AA in Rakhine region. During the meeting very little progress was made,” said Col Kyaw Han, spokesperson for AA.

AA released a joint-statement with Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Ta-ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) calling for the Myanmar Army to stop attacking AA and civilians in northern Rakhine State. It warned of retaliation should Tatmadaw’s attacks persist.