Arakan Army Is Willing to Participate in Peace Conference and Bear A Hand During The National Election in November in Rakhine State, Myanmar

Arakan Army Commander General Tun Myat Naing 

AN. Sittway. July 24, 2020. 

Arakan Army along with three brotherhoods, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and Ta’aung National Liberation Army (TNLA) issued a statement on July 21 and said they are willing to participate in peace conference and welcome the election.

Arakan Army Spokesperson Khine Thu Kha confirms the statement in which Arakan Army will take part in the peace conference and advise Myanmar authority for free and fair election. 

The statement said, “We exhort the Burmese authority to hold a free and fair elections contested by nationwide polls.” 

“Our organizations are fully willing to attend the conference under the leadership of FPNCC, its guidance, and security guarantee,” the statement said. 

“It is true the statement has clearly stated we will participate in the peace conference according to FPNCC political guideline and security guarantee on our leaderships during the conference. Our General (Tun Myat Naing) has widely explained during the Chin Cable Network Channel (CCN) interview on the upcoming election,” Khine Thu Kha said. 

CCN had interviewed General Tun Myat Naing on July 12 in wide range of issues including national election in November. 
“Previously, we said government ought to talk to us in order to have smooth election (in Rakhine State). But we decided we will have effective ceasefire for the election going through even though the government did not talk to us, in which we withdrew from our previous stand,"  General Tun Myat Naing said. 
The general said, “It is not we are so much believing in the electoral politic process, but when we look at the Myanmar political trend and if the intensive military clashes are going on constantly, the election process will be somehow hindering. In our own view, we ought to support the election in order to elect representatives by the people for those who can speak up for their constituencies. If there is no representative, it is very difficult, especially in the conflict zone, for the people who need their representation and for truly speak up for their burden and suffering.”

Myanmar military spokesperson Maj. Gen Zaw Min Tun also told the media several weeks ago the military would support the election as much as they could.

It is not clear how AA and Myanmar army will restraint itself during the election times in order of secure and free election by reducing military operations and collateral damages in Rakhine State. 

For sense of General Tun Myant Naing interview, AA may reduce its troops maneuvering in the towns and near the poll locations. It may officially declare unilateral ceasefire during the election days. 

National League for Democracy (NLD) has already announced its candidates to contest in the election in Rakhine State, but it cannot represent for several seats of central parliament in Minbya, Mrauk U, and Maybon townships. 

Arakan national parties are fully confident they will win in the election if there is free and fair election and no major threat of military clashes and attacking each other during the campaign and polling times. 

But the key question remains unclear whether central government will allow Arakan parties to form their own government. 

Analysts advise that if the Rakhine ethnic parties are allowed to form their own government and given more power to negotiate peace with Arakan Army, this election will be meaningful. 

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