Many officers in the United Wa State Army (UWSA) are in a state of suspense over how the Burma Army may decide on its new 8 point counterproposal submitted to Naypyitaw on 3 April, according to sources from the Sino-Burma border.
Some top officials are said to be worried the junta may accept it. “It is the biggest gamble that the group has ever played with the junta,” said a source from Panghsang. “If the Burma Army accepts their proposal, they must really abide by what they have written.”
According to further details received by SHAN, there have been some changes in the new one compared to their November counterproposal, though two main points remain the same:
• Mongpawk and Mongphen, considered part of Mongyang township by the regime, should continue to be placed under Wa administration as Mongpawk township
• Commanders of both northern and southern military sectors must be Wa and the deputy commanders junta officers
On the other hand, there are notable concessions:
• Mongyawn and Hwe Aw areas on the Thai-Burma border are no longer demanded to be kept under Wa administration. Instead, the UWSA strongly requests that the 80,000 Wa people relocated from the Sino-Burma border a decade earlier be allowed to reside legally in the said areas
• Chiefs of staff for both military sectors will be Burma Army officers and deputy chiefs of staff UWSA
• Previously, the Wa said there should be no junta officers at the battalion level (the Burma Army says there must be 30 of its officers in each 326-strong battalion). But this time, they are allowing 6 of them to be in there, one as a deputy battalion commander and the rest for health, logistics and communications
However, it is hard to guess how the Burma Army may respond because its demand to the ceasefire groups has uniformly been “take all or take nothing ‘of its Border Guard Force program, a border analyst said.
The future of the group and other ceasefire groups appears to be dependent on the decisions of the Burma Army by 28 April. According to the military junta announcement, all ceasefire groups would be declared as illegal organizations if they fail to agree with the border guard force program by the deadline.
The latest report, yet to be confirmed, says Naypyitaw has turned down the Wa’s latest proposal.