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Wa army told to cooperate with Burmese government

The Burmese military put heavy political pressure on the United Wa State Party / United Wa State Army (UWSP/UWSA) leadership to “join the fold” during a meeting with Burma’s armed forces chief Vice Senior General Min Aung Hlaing on Oct. 6, according to an article on the Shan Herald website on Wedesday.

Min Aung Hlaing, during a meeting with Wa leaders in Kengtung, the capital of eastern Shan State, reportedly issued two verbal directives: to stop illicit drug production and trafficking by 2015 and to accept the 2008 Constitution and return to the government fold.

“There cannot be two governments and two armed forces in one nation,” he said, according to the Shan Herald. “So far, you have rejected our propositions for you to become either a Border Guard Force or People’s Militia Force. Now it’s time you made up your mind to form a [registered] party and enter elections.”

“He (Min Aung Hlaing) may be a blue-eyed boy to the world outside,” a source who asked not to be named told the news gorup. “But, to us, who have known him since the days he was a regional commander in Kengtung, he has always been a hardliner.”

The UWSA and its ally, the Mongla-based National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), both based along the Sino-Burmese border, were the first two groups to conclude new cease-fire pacts with Naypyitaw, less than a month after President Thein Sein issued a formal invitation for peace talks to all armed opposition movements on in August 2011.

Earlier cease-fire agreements, reached in 1989, broke down in 2009 following demands by Naypyitaw to transform all cease-fire groups into border guard forces or people’s militia. The two groups, unlike the Kachin and the Shan, have thus far not been attacked by the Burmese Army.

Currently, fighting is taking place in Kachin State and its neighboring northern Shan State between the Burmese Army and the Kachin-Shan-Palaung alliance.

A source noted that the war against the Kachin is unpopular in Burma and within the international community.

“But the one against the Wa might prove popular at least outside the country. Of course, the Chinese may have different ideas about it,” he said.

The Wa army is considered a major drug trafficker in opium and synthetic methamphetamine drugs.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 October 2012 12:41 )  

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