Northern Alliance, Myanmar Govt Fail to Reach Deal at Latest Peace Talks in China

By Lawi Weng 16 December 2019

Members of the Northern Alliance met Myanmar government representatives in the Chinese city of Kunming on Saturday in an unsuccessful attempt to end the deadlock in peace negotiations, according to the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA).

The three-hour meeting was held between members of the Kachin Independence Army, the TNLA, Arakan Army (AA) and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and the government’s National Reconciliation and Peace Center (NRPC), Major Tar Aike Kyaw, a spokesman for the TNLA, told The Irrawaddy.

The TNLA refused to provide details of the proposal made on Saturday, but a proposal submitted by the Northern Alliance in Kengtung, Shan State in September called for a ceasefire agreement, continued peace negotiations and cooperation on the return of those displaced by the fighting. It also called for a military code of conduct and the formation of a peace-monitoring team involving China.

Major Tar Aike Kyar said, “They did not accept our proposal so I do not want to give details about it.” Both sides agreed to meet informally in late January, according to the TNLA.

AA chief Major General Tun Myat Naing said the government representatives at previous meetings did not have the power to make decisions, and would only pass proposals to their superiors.

Maj-Gen Tun Myat Naing told The Irrawaddy that the government’s armed forces were insisting that the country should only have one army. “They cannot agree to a border with us. They want to own all the national resources. Therefore, the meeting could not move forward,” he said.

U Zaw Htay from the President’s Office, who was at the Kunming meeting, refused to comment.

U Maung Maung Soe, a political analyst, said there were no Myanmar army representatives at the meeting so progress was impossible. “The Northern Alliance proposal asked for the army to recognize that the border regions are controlled by ethnic armed groups. But [from previous negotiations it is known that] Myanmar’s army would not agree and the proposal was rejected,” he said.