Myanmar Junta Media Accuses EAOs of Terrorism

By The Irrawaddy 11 October 2021

Six ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) have been accused of aiding and abetting so-called ‘terrorist’ attacks in Myanmar.

The accusations were made in an article – “Extremist Terrorism Must Fail” under the byline Min Khant – published in the junta-controlled Burmese-language newspaper Myanma Alin.

It argues that the Karen National Union (KNU), the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the Chin National Front (CNF), the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) and the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) are taking advantage of the political turmoil in the country.

EAOs are providing military training to People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) to reap military gains for themselves, claims the article. It also accuses them of involvement in the illicit drug trade, of having links with foreign organizations and receiving funds from them.

26 bomb and gun attacks allegedly carried out by PDFs are also listed in the article.

All six of the EAOs named by Myanma Alin were engaged in the now ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) government’s peace process prior to the military’s February 1 coup. The KNU, RCSS and CNF signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in October 2015 and have engaged in political dialogue since then.

Prior to the military takeover, the KNPP was also negotiating to sign the NCA, while the KIA and the TNLA were in talks to sign bilateral ceasefire agreements.

The majority of EAOs in Myanmar objected when the junta overthrew the NLD government on the pretext of electoral fraud. Following the coup, the military regime proposed continuing the peace process, but the EAOs have refused to participate.

At the same time, the junta’s killings of hundreds of peaceful anti-coup protesters and the ongoing detention of thousands of civilians has forced many youths around the country to fight back against the regime. Many have now received military training from EAOs.

The conflict against the junta has intensified since September, when the parallel National Unity Government declared a defensive war against the regime and asked civilian resistance fighters to attack junta soldiers and military assets.

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