Sunday, 17 November 2019

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UNFC calls on China to mediate for peace

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Efforts to achieve peace in Burma’s long-going ethnic wars would be more successful if China mediated between the central government and the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), the UNFC said on Friday.
NMSP General-Secretary Nai Han Thar. Photo:“The armed conflicts are getting worse. On the other hand, these armed conflicts are connected with Chinese interests and investments in these areas to some extent. If China can mediate between the warring factions, it will facilitate peace,” UNFC General-Secretary Nai Han Thar told Mizzima.
China has investments in areas controlled by the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) in Kachin State and the Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP) in Shan State including proposed dam projects and gas and oil pipeline projects.
“These [military] offensives are launched to protect China’s interests and expedite implementation of these projects. If we have problems among us, it will not be easy to resolve and it will affect our country,” Nai Han Thar said.
The UNFC alliance was formed in February 2011 with 12 ethnic armed groups that are fighting against the central government. There are six armed groups in the UNFC core group: Karen National Union (KNU), New Mon State Party (NMSP), Chin National Front (CNF), Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) and Shan Nationalities Progressive Party (SSPP). Six other armed groups are associate members.
Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi appealed on July 28 to stop all ongoing wars and to observe a cease-fire immediately. She also pledged that she was ready to help in the peace process.

While the UNFC wants mediation and intervention by China, the Chinese authorities have concerns about a close relationship between the UNFC and Western countries, observers said.
The issue came up in an informal meeting with Chinese authorities held on October 1, a person who attended the meeting told Mizzima.
“They didn’t give any response on the UNFC alliance, but they asked if the UNFC had close relations with the US and Western powers,” said the source. “They hinted that if we approached them as a neigbouring country and one of the countries which is looking after the affairs of Burma, it would be more effective and workable,” he said.
General-Secretary Nai Han Thar told Mizzima that the UNFC upholds the policy of non-secession and the emergence of a federal union, and is not under the influence of any country or organization.
“We are not under any influence. We have not received specific assistance from any organization or country. No organization dominates us. We are in a revolution for freedom only,” Nai Han Thar said.

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