Burmese military is sabotaging peace process, says ethnic bloc

Burmese military is sabotaging peace process, says ethnic bloc

The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) has accused the Burmese military of intentionally sabotaging the peace process.

A coalition of ethnic armed groups, both signatory parties and non-signatories to the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA), the UNFC released a statement yesterday after holding a central executive committee meeting from 23–25 January at the Thai-Burmese border.

The statement accused the Burmese military of blocking certain ethnic armies from talks. It said that by branding four ethnic militias – the Kachin Independence Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and Arakan Army – as “terrorists”, the Burmese military was effectively destroying the peace process.

The four ethnic armies in question, collectively known as the Northern Alliance, has been engaged in hostilities against the Burmese military in northern Shan State since November.

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Last month, the Shan State parliament approved a proposal to classify the groups as a terrorist organisation.

The UNFC statement concluded by saying that the bloc will “leave the door open” and try to solve all disputes through peaceful negotiation. It said it would reach out to the National League for Democracy government and seek positive cooperation.

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