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China’s peace efforts fail for second time in northern Shan

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

The second round of talks in a China-brokered ceasefire between the military and two members of the Brotherhood Alliance, the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), took place Dec. 22-24 in Kunming, China.

This follows the first round of talks that led to a temporary ceasefire agreement meant to last from Dec. 11-31 in northern Shan State along the border with China. It broke down immediately afterward and the fighting continued. 

“China is pressuring us to stop fighting while it is continuously intensifying. The three of us are looking for a way to overcome this situation,” said the TNLA General Secretary Tar Bhone Kyaw in an interview with the BBC. 

A third round of China-brokered peace talks is expected to take place in January 2024.

To date, the MNDAA claims that eight people have been killed and at least 25 have been injured due to fighting between pro-military forces and the Brotherhood Alliance in Laukkai, located in the Kokang Self-Administered Zone of northern Shan State.

Local news agency, Shwe Phee Myay, reported on Dec. 27 that 70 percent of Laukkai is now under MNDAA control, as it pushes out the remaining troops fighting on behalf of the military, including the Kokang Border Guard Force (BGF). 

The MNDAA called on all civilians to evacuate the city, as fighting will intensify over the coming days. The Brotherhood Alliance stated its aim is to “end military dictatorship.”

Over the last two months, since it launched Operation 1027 on Oct. 27, the Brotherhood Alliance has seized 300 military bases and at least six towns. 

“China hopes that relevant parties in Myanmar can speed up efforts to implement what has been agreed, exercise maximum restraint, and actively ease the situation on the ground,” said Weng Wenbin, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Dec. 19.

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