Myanmar Govt Delays Peace Talks With Northern Alliance

By Lawi Weng 23 October 2019

The National Reconciliation and Peace Center (NRPC) has delayed talks with the Northern Alliance until next month, according to leaders of the ethnic armed groups. 

Brigadier General Tar Phone Kyaw of the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), a member of the alliance, told The Irrawaddy that the NRPC informed the groups about the delay.

“They told us they were busy. They have scheduled a lot of meetings and travel,” said Brig-Gen Tar Phone Kyaw.

The NRPC only informed the Kachin Independence Army, which told the other alliance members, he added.

The NRPC originally agreed to a meeting this month at peace talks in Kengtung, Shan State, in September.

The alliance was now asking to meet in early November, Brig-Gen Tar Phone Kyaw said, adding that the meeting should be held as soon possible. 

“It is not good to delay, as there is ongoing fighting,” said Brig-Gen Tar Phone Kyaw.

Lamai Gum Ja of the peace group at the Kachin Independence Organization told the media that the NRPC planed to meet the 10 armed groups who were signatories to the National Ceasefire Agreement on Oct. 28 and 29 in Yangon, which prevented the meeting with the alliance.  

Fighting with Myanmar’s army is ongoing in Rakhine State and northern Shan State, despite the peace talks.

Fighting broke out at least five times in Namkham, Kutkai and Hseni townships with the TNLA this month, according to the rebel army, which said government forces attacked its bases.

There are near-daily clashes between the army and the Arakan Army (AA) in Rakhine State, resulting in large numbers of civilian casualties.

The AA accused government forces of human rights abuses in a letter to the UN, asking for the international community to take action in Rakhine State.

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