UNFC Seeks End to Burma Army's Kachin Offensive

By Khin Oo Tha 8 January 2013

The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an alliance of Burmese ethnic armed groups that is currently holding a four-day meeting in Thailand, says it is seeking ways to stop the ongoing conflict in Kachin State.

The leaders of the UNFC said that they will call on the Burmese armed forces to end its offensive against the Kachin Independence Army, the armed wing of the Kachin Independence Organization, one of the group’s 11 members.

“We are holding this meeting to find ways to advance the political process after the fighting ceases,” said UNFC Secretary Khun Okkar, who is also a leader of Pa-O National Liberation Organization.

Representatives from all 11 members groups except the Chin National Front (CNF) are taking part in the meeting, which began on Monday.

The UNFC leaders said they will send their recommendations to the government regarding the political and peace process and urge it to solve political problems using political means.

Yohei Sasakawa, the chairman of Nippon Foundation and the Japanese government’s goodwill ambassador for the welfare of Burma’s ethnic minorities, is also attending the UNFC meeting to discuss the situation of war refugee in ethnic areas.

Khun Okkar said the Nippon Foundation leader had agreed to provide US $3 million to support war-displaced civilians in ethnic-controlled areas when the UNFC leaders visited Japan last October.