Northern Alliance and Burmese government resumed communication

The Kachin Post / June 15, 2020

The official seal of Northern Alliance-Burma

The Burmese government’s representative has recently restarted the communication with the ethnic-armed organizations belongs to Northern Alliance-Burma (NA-B) through a third party political negotiation team called Peace Creation Group (PCG), trying to hold the stalled peace-talk meeting between both parties.

“It’s not that serious and nothing is official yet,” Major General Sumlut Gun Maw, the Vice Chairman-1 of Kachin Independence Organization, told The Kachin Post. There has been an unofficial communication between the Burmese government’s representative and the ethnic armed organizations whether to hold online or in-person meeting, Gun Maw continued.

The Northern Alliance-Burma comprises of Arakan Army (AA), Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and Ta-ang National Liberation Army (TNLA). All the members of the Northern Alliance are not signatory organization of Burmese government’s Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA).

Last March, the commander of Burma Army’s northern command based in Myitkyina reportedly warned Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the political wing of KIA, via the PCG that Arakan Army troops should be moved out of KIO controlled area or faced attack. The warning came a week after Burmese government declared Arakan Army as a terrorist organization in the country. KIO’s controlled area, especially near its headquarter Laiza, has been Arakan Army’s launching pad since the organization was established in 2009.

The last time the Northern Alliance alliance and Burmese government representatives met in the eastern Shan State town of Keng Tung on September 17, 2019. Both parties proposed to hold further meeting in the next month, however, it was indefinitely postponed ever since. During the last meeting, Burmese government tried to make a separate deal with the individual members of the Northern Alliance.

In November 2016, Northern Alliance launched a major offensive against Burma Army, taking control the northern Shan State town of Mongko for a few weeks. Northern Alliance later withdrew to avoid civilian casualties before Burma Army’s massive aerial bombing which destroyed most of the Mongko town.