Govt Offers KIA Peace Talks amid Fighting

The KIA standing committee pictured at a briefing before setting off to a previous round of peace talks. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

Despite fierce fighting with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the Burmese government has suggested another round of peace talks in early January, according to rebel sources.

Seng Awng of Peace Talk Creation Group told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that leaders of the ethnic armed group’s political wing, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), received a letter from the Burmese authorities on Dec. 13 asking for a political dialogue. A KIO official also confirmed that they received the written request, but declined to elaborate further.

The move came amid heavy fighting between government and KIA troops and so the rebel leaders still have not issued a response, said the KIO official, adding that it is possible bilateral talks could be held next month.

Zaw Htay, the director of the President’s Office in Naypyidaw, confirmed that the government’s peace team wants to hold talks with the KIO in the new year. President’s Office Minister Aung Min, the government’s chief negotiator with ethnic armed groups, informally agreed to the political dialogue demanded by the KIO leadership during their last meeting in the Chinese border town of Ruili on Oct. 30.

James Lun Dau, deputy chief for KIO foreign affairs, said that he doubts whether the new peace talks offered by the government would help put an end to the year-and-a-half-long conflict as several previous rounds have not heralded a tangible agreement.

Aung Kyaw Zaw, an observer at the Sino-Burmese border, said that the government army is now preparing for another assault on KIA bases in Pangwa area, northeast of the Kachin State capital Myitkyina.

As fighting escalates, it was reported that government forces suffered massive losses on Dec. 14. Around 60 Burmese casualties were reported during an offensive in Lajayang region, near the rebel headquarters of Laiza, where around 70,000 displaced civilians are staying in refugee camps, according to KIA sources.

Founded in 1961, the KIA, now with an estimated 15,000 troops, signed a ceasefire agreement with the ex-military regime in 1994, but this broke down on June 19, 2011, with fighting continuing unabated to the present day.

3 Responses to Govt Offers KIA Peace Talks amid Fighting

  1. What’s a point for doing this fruitless peace negotiation with Burmese Government?
    President U Thein Sein must admit General Min Aung Hlaing is out of his control.
    Obviously current war with minority ethnics’ armed group is General Min Aung Hlaing war if President U Thein Sein lead Burmese Government was sincerely wanted peace and reconciliation with minority ethnics’ group.
    For President U Thein Sein Government, you shouldn’t keep calling for peace negotiation if you can not keep your promised.  Fake peace negotiation is enough for everyone now.
    I can understand why General Min Aung Hlaing is ignoring President U Thein Sein order for to ceases war with KIA. He is trying to killing two birds with one stone. President U Thein sein must send General Min Aung Hlaing to retirement and replace with someone who accepts current Burmese democracy reform because General Min Aung Hlaing does not fit with current democracy reform. Otherwise, he must integrate into current Burmese Government reform. Military can not go alone.
    Current General Min Aung Hlaing position is threatening to Burmese democracy reform and suspicious about returning to military dictatorship rule at anytime.
    I’m fully supporting for KIA fighting back Burmese army because KIA has right to defend themselves from Burmese military attacking on them.
    Neither sides will win this war regardless of who got more sophisticated weapons and better arms but the war will be left with great lost from both Burmese army and KIA.
    General Min Aung Hlaing must wake up and accept reality. We are not living in the 19 century any more.
    I believe KIA and other minority ethnics’ army should restart guerrilla war against Burmese military until General Min Aung Hlaing conceded the war with minority ethnics’ army is unwinnable and wasting human lives, country resources and times.

    •  Dear Chopchop
      I fully agree with your comment. However, you might forget to tell that Ming Aung Laing is under the control of “than shwe”. Than shwe might know or psychologically  analyse that Ming Aung Laing is weak , coward, unethical , opportunistic and selfish so Than shwe choose him to be his salve.  Late Ne win made a wrong decision on than shwe who pretends to be a obedient fox. Now, the world knows than shwe is more cruel than Ne win. I want to suggest  all Burmese ethnics that the ethnics should sell their lands to rich China for 50-100 years in return for getting sophisticated weapons and modernization of their own lands instead of being abused and bullied by bama military. Bama military government did not and does not honor  Panglong agreement  until now so all Burmese ethnics have right to do whatever they like for the sake of their own people.  Otherwise , all ethnics are forced to be marriaged to Bama or sold to be  prostitutes.

  2. KIO may not take serious action on government’s offer for peace talk. Because the current administration is not seriously thinking about genuine peace and tranquility in the union. Thein Sein and his people will keep hanging on to power just to waste time for Than Shwe. They will not want to lose power either. Therefore, until we see this administration goes away, real democracy will not come to the people. So, what? Don’t take serious action on the offer from Thein Sein. 

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