Fighting between government troops and some armed groups appears to have decreased in Burma’s restive north eastern region.
Violence has been quelled between government troops and Kokang armed group the Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) for at least a day after an agreement was reached on a draft of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, or NCA.
MNDAA spokesperson Tun Myat Lin said that fighting “had continued here from 27 March until 2 April. But today [Friday] it calmed down.”
However, he also said that the fighting was likely to re-escalate, as more Burmese army tanks and artillery had appeared on the front line.
There have been no exchanges between Burma army troops and the Ta-ang National Liberation Army either, said Mai Aik Kyaw, spokesperson of the group. “There has been no fighting now for three days,” he said.
The government’s Union Peace-Making Working Committee (UPWC) and the ethnic bloc’s Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team reached an agreement on the draft text of the NCA on 31 March.
President Thein Sein has said he hopes that the final Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement can be signed in April.
The MNDAA, which is an NCCT member but had been excluded from the recent round of peace talks due to ongoing conflict, welcomes the agreement, Tun Myat Lin said.
“It is good. If it is in line with the aims and objectives of our ethnic armed groups, it would be good. In the past, we joined the conferences of ethnic armed groups, two at Laiza and one at Lawkheela. All of the ethnic armed groups recognized us. The NCCT has been talking inclusively of all the groups.”
He added that the MNDAA believes political dialogue is the best way to solve the fighting.
Despite the reaching of the agreement, tensions remain high between Burmese army troops and the Kachin Independence Army, as well as government forces and the Shan State Army – North.