Six Powerful Ethnic Armed Forces Reject Invitation to Peace Conference in Myanmar After Government Excluded Arakan Army

FPCCN meeting in Wa State in Myanmar 
AN. Sittway. August 13, 2020

Six ethnic armed alliance of Myanmar rejects invitation to peace conference in Naypaytaw after government excluded Arakan Army. 

Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee (FPNCC) issues a statement today and said it will not participate in the peace conference in Naypaytaw. 

The statement said during the Covid-19 pandemic spreading and lack of equipment and expertise in mountainous regions and difficulty of traveling to the administrative capital, all members of the committee cannot participate in 4thSession of Panglong Conference that will be held on August 19-21. 

FPNCC said it regrets AA was not invited to the conference and urges government to include all conflicting parties and meet face to face in order to solve differences which will enhance confident building and working toward democracy-federal union as Aung San Suu Kyi once highlighted in her speech. 

FPNCC is comprised with Arakan Army (AA), Kachin Independent organization (KIO), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Ta’Aung National Liberation Army (TNLA), and Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP), and United Wa State Army (UWSA). 

FPCCN members, including AA, attended the conference in Naypaytaw in 2018 as observer. 

Aung San Suu Kyi said during the Joint Implementing Coordination Meeting (JICM) meeting in Nypaytaw today the Union Agreement that is to be signed in the 4thSession of 21stPanglong Conference will solve political situation to achieve Democracy-Federal Union as a pathway of collaborating with the constitution amendment. 

She said the agreement will lead to further negotiation of step by step implementation of drafting state constitution, division of state and federal governments power, and security sector reformation.
“What she (Aung San Suu Kyi) saying is theoretically sounds, but practically, the peace process she is conducting is out of reality and widen more division between ceasefire and non-ceasefire ethnic armed forces after FPNCC boycotts the conference,” said an Arakanese analyst, who does not want to mention his name in public for security reason. 
Shan and Arakanese ceasefire organizations, Shan State Army (SSA-South) and Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), cannot even hold state level political consultative meetings that agreed to have before the 4thSecession of Paanglong Conference in their own states due to the military blocking. 

Without the participation of powerful ethnic armed organizations such as AA, KIA, and UWSA in the negotiation process in agreement, the so-called Union Agreement is meaningless and even leading to more division among ethnic armed forces. 
“We have a lot to talk in nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA). We did not sing it last time because we had many disagreements in it,” said TNLA leader Tar Phone Kyaw. 
Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) did not sign the NCA in 2015 and in 2018 but has stood individually after United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) dissolved in 2018 when New Mon State Party (NMSP) and Lahu Democratic Union (LDU) joined in NCA signatories along with Karen National Union (KNU) and SSA-South. 

KNPP will not attend the peace conference in Naypaytaw too. 

“The consequence is that all non-ceasefire organizations will reject the so-called Union Agreement without including any say in it—that will be signed with smaller and less powerful ethnic armed organizations in Naypaytaw. When FPNCC will ask to revise the version of the agreements, the problem is then starting out there. Besides, AA and Myanmar army are fighting intensely, and civilian casualties are increasing day by day,” the analyst said. 

Certainly, this conference is politically downgrading Aung San Suu Kyi and NLD that fail for the final push of peace with the non-ceasefire ethnic armed organizations before the election in November after FPNCC boycotting. Ethnic people clearly see inability of the leadership and broken promises in last election that was to be achieved peace with all the non-state armed forces. In return, the ethnic people will vote for their political parties in their own states. 

Analysts predict that the military is gaining upper hands in this division of conflict beyond the peace conference which the military has strategically divided between the ceasefire and non-ceasefire organizations. 

Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) backed by the military will compromise with the ethnic parties and non-ceasefire armed forces after the election in order to form a new government in 2021. NLD will be seen a great loss in upcoming election in ethnic states due to the result of partial and non-inclusive peace conference. 

Aung San Suu Kyi and Deputy Commander General Soe Win in JICM meeting in Naypaytaw on August 13, 2020. 

1 comment:

  1. Myanmar government and its armed forces are one of the most powerful army in the world. At least Suu Kyi and Min Aung Hlaing think so. When the Arakan civil war started some of their generals bragged that they can contain the Arakan Army in three days of air, land and naval attacks. More that twenty months after the great bragging, the Arakan civil war is still there, and the NLD has bribed the ALP for floating candidates for all the parliamentary seats in Rakhine state. So this boycott or threat from six powerful opponents seems to be just a fig leaf to the Burmese pseudo-military government. For next five years the country will still slide down the drain of war and mistrust. Democracy and election are just two trump cards for them. The ethnic nationalities must decide what they are up to without delay.

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