Tuesday, 19 November 2019

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Four ceasefire groups form military alliance



Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – In a process of ganging up, which could put the Burmese military junta on the back foot, four ceasefire ethnic armed groups, which rejected the regime’s proposal to transform into a ‘Border Guard Force’ (BGF), formed a military alliance last month to counter the junta’s military overtures.

The formation of the military alliance was disclosed by the ‘United Wa State Army’ (UWSA).

The ceasefire groups, which rejected the junta’s proposal of changing to BGF are the ‘Kachin Independence Organization’ (KIO), the United Wa State Army (UWSA), Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA).

“We reached an agreement about two months ago. We don’t want anymore war. We want peace. But we have to defend ourselves. Having reached an agreement, however, we are united,” an officer of the UWSA told Mizzima.

According to the agreement, if one of the ceasefire groups breaks the agreement with the junta, other ceasefire groups will presume their ceasefire agreements with the regime have also broken, he added.

Sino-Burma border based Burmese observer Aung Kyaw Zaw said that this military alliance may be based on their common position of respective national objectives and rejection of the junta’s proposal to transform their armies into BGF.

“There are basically common central works along the border. They have a common national objective. They have mutual understanding of mutual assistance among them if it is necessary. Rather than having an agreement, they have many common positions among them. Moreover they have the same military experience over the years,” he said.

Though the four ceasefire groups rejected the junta’s proposal of the BGF, the New Democratic Army (Kachin) (NDA-K) accepted the junta’s proposal.

Some news reports say that the Shan State Army (North) has joined the alliance, which now has five members but the Wa Army leader said that he had no knowledge about it.

The local Burmese Army unit and the police tried to enter the residence of the Chairman of the MNDAA, a member of the military alliance to search for narcotic drugs on August 8.

Leaders of the MNDAA, Shan State Special Region No. 1, met the Northeast Command Commander Maj. Gen. Aung Than Htut at Lao Kai on August 10 to resolve the crisis but failed. The next day, MNDAA went into combat readiness and are on stand by.

It is learnt that UWSA has sent about 1,000 troops to Kokang as reinforcement.

Due to the heightened tension between Kokang and the Burmese Army, over 10,000 local people fled to the China border. It is learnt that the junta’s Northeast Command Commander and Chinese officials discussed the issue recently.


 

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