EAOs Suspend Negotiations With Tatmadaw

By Network Media Group
Monday, February 22, 2021

Ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) that signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) suspended political dialogue with the Tatmadaw because there isn’t a legitimate government after the coup.

After convening for an emergency meeting, the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST), which was reformed by the EAOs after the recent election to meet with the NLD government and Tatmadaw, announced it will halt negotiations.

Padoh Saw Taw Nee, PPST spokesperson, told NMG before the coup they negotiated with the government and the army. “Without the participation of all of the stakeholders we can’t begin political dialogue.”

In his closing speech, acting PPST chair Gen Yawd Serk said: “Moving forward, there will be many difficulties ahead to build a federal union, restore democracy and end the dictatorship in our country. We will march with the people until we reach our goal.”

If the Tatmadaw invites them to the table through its recently assembled negotiation team, which is led by Lt-Gen Yar Pyae, they’ll decline, Padoh Saw Taw Nee said. He said they don’t accept the Tatmadaw as a legal government, adding that the international community also doesn’t recognize its legitimacy.

In a five-point statement, PPST endorsed the Civil Disobedience Movement against the military regime and said it will seek ways to support the campaign. It condemned violence against protesters and called for the release of those detained by the military. PPST said it will cooperate with local and international communities opposed to the junta to resolve the political problems in the country.

Discussions about postponing other NCA Union level activities are currently underway. Additionally, the EAOs are reevaluating their own bilateral ceasefire agreements under the regime.

The NCA-EAOs include All Burma Students’ Democratic Front, Karen National Union, Restoration Council of Shan State, Chin National Front, Karen National Liberation Army – Peace Council, Pa-O National Liberation Organization, Arakan Liberation Party, Democratic Karen Benevolent Army, New Mon State Party and Lahu Democratic Union.