Army May Join Meeting of Northern Military Alliance and NRPC

Signing a bilateral ceasefire at the next meeting is not out of the question, said a observer.

By Network Media Group
May 20, 2019

The outcome of upcoming talks between the government’s peace team and ethnic armed groups will largely depend on the Myanmar Army said a non-governmental organization involved with negotiations.

The Army has agreed to join the meeting, set to happen in a few days, to discuss a bilateral ceasefire.

Sam Awng, from the Peace-talk Creation Group (PCG) based in Myitkyina, told NMG the armed groups will meet with the National Reconciliation Peace Centre (NRPC) and the Army on May 24 and 25 but that a venue hasn’t yet been established.

Signing a bilateral ceasefire at the next meeting is not out of the question, said Sam Awng, but he cautioned due to different opinions among the groups achieving a settlement might take longer.

“It depends on discussions between the government and EAOs (ethnic armed organisations). If key Tatmadaw (Burma army) and government leaders are in attendance, and talks go smoothly, it’s not impossible… I can’t expect very much but I want them to sign a bilateral ceasefire.”

Maj Mai Aik Kyaw of the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) wants to discuss stopping the fighting with the Myanmar Army. “Clashes are still occurring in our area. We will talk about how to stop these clashes and after the fighting ends, we can start political dialogue.”

Brig Gen Tar Bone Kyaw, general secretary of TNLA, told media after the last meeting they would try to sign a bilateral ceasefire agreement the next time they meet.

The Northern Alliance proposed signing a bilateral ceasefire agreement during peace talks on February 25 in Kunming located in China’s Yunnan province.

The Northern Alliance was formed by the TNLA, Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and Arakan Army (AA).