Liaison teams representing the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) and the Burmese government’s Peace-making Work Committee concluded a two-day meeting in Myitkyina on Tuesday with at least one mediator saying hopes are high that negotiations will recommence at a union-level in October.
Speaking to DVB after the meeting, Hla Maung Shwe of the Myanmar Peace Centre said the two delegations focused mainly on the issues of a nationwide ceasefire; the formation of a committee to monitor the ceasefire process; the rehabilitation of internally displaced persons (IDPs); and fixing arrangements for next month’s meeting.
“It is likely there will be union-level talks involving senior leaders from both sides by the end of the first week of October,” he said, adding that the liaison teams are also likely to hold a follow-up meeting at the end of this month.
Hla Maung Shwe declined to comment on allegations made by the Burmese army that the KIO had brutally executed one of their captains, saying that it was a military matter but that the Internal Peace-making Work Committee has written to the KIO regarding the allegation.
Speaking to DVB on Friday, KIO General-Secretary Dr La Ja said that at the previous round of talks, the government delegation had agreed to take steps to ensure that government forces withdraw from positions close to the Kachin front lines and bases, but that such moves had not yet happened.
“There have not been as many clashes as there were before,” he said. “And almost none in the area around [KIO] headquarters.
“However, we have been informed about fighting along the Machanbaw- Putao route and just yesterday in an area east of Mansi town in Bhamo and also in the KIA Brigade 4 territory. So although there aren’t as many clashes as before, they still continue to break out.
“It’s not very good for the peace process if hostilities continue,” he said.
The clash in Mansi was confirmed by Kachin News Group last week. It quoted church-related aid groups as saying that dozens of Kachin villagers in southern Mansi (Manje) township had fled their homes as fighting between the two sides continued for a second day.