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Myanmar junta, resistance officials attend China-brokered peace talks

Representatives discussed strengthening a ceasefire and reopening the border with China, an Arakan Army official said.

A Myanmar rebel alliance and junta officials discussed reopening the border and preserving a ceasefire at peace talks brokered by China, an Arakan Army official said Monday.

The talks between the Three Brotherhood Alliance and the military in the Chinese city of Kunming addressed the reopening of trade gates, deputy commander Nyo Tun Aung said in an online press conference. 

“We continue to discuss the previous Haigeng Agreement at every meeting,” he said, referring to the alliance’s name for the ceasefire agreed during January talks.

“We are continuing to strengthen the ceasefire, [addressing] the China-Myanmar border issue, how to wipe out the online scamming business and how the border exits should be reopened.”

Regime forces agreed to let the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army manage Shan state’s Kokang city, according to local media reports. The reports said junta officials asked the ethnic armed group to avoid harming China’s interests in order to allow them to reopen the border gates. 

Radio Free Asia contacted the Ta’ang National Liberation Army and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army to learn more about the topics discussed, but they did not respond by the time of publication.

Junta spokesperson Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun did not return RFA’s calls trying to confirm the details.

The talks in China’s Yunnan province took place last Thursday and Friday, according to a member of an ethnic armed group who wished to remain anonymous for security reasons.

Three Brotherhood Alliance and junta representatives agreed to a ceasefire in the previous round of talks on Jan. 11. An ex-military official  later said it was not sustainable and less than a week after the agreement, both sides were accused of violating it in a skirmish. 

The latest discussions focused on the ceasefire in northern Shan state since the Arakan Army has continued fighting junta forces in Rakhine state, Nyo Tun Aung said.

Since the Arakan Army, Ta’ang National Liberation Army and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army launched their 1027 attack in October, the three allied forces have captured at least six townships in Rakhine and Chin states. 

In northern Shan state, the Three Brotherhood Alliance captured 16 cities, including Muse and Chinshwehaw, which are vital for Chinese border trade.

Although fighting between the alliance and junta in Shan state has largely gone quiet since the ceasefire, non-alliance member the Kachin Independence Army launched an offensive only days later and has since attacked multiple cities

Peace talks still need to address the fighting in Rakhine state where the Arakan Army attacked a junta naval base and took control of parts of a China-funded special economic zone, causing construction delays.

Political analyst and former regime army officer Hla Kyaw Zaw told RFA that the current ceasefire talks are solely due to pressure from China and are not a satisfactory situation for both sides.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.

 


This content originally appeared on Radio Free Asia and was authored by By RFA Burmese.


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