It refers to the ceasefire agreements of the new government and the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) last week.
“Actually, they [the UWSA and Mongla] were not fighting against Naypyitaw. It was us, the SSA and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Karen who have been fighting against it. So it is like applying remedy to where the wound is not,” said SSA spokesperson Major Sai La.
The UWSA and Mongla group respectively signed a new ceasefire agreement with the new civilianized government on 6 September (with UWSA) and on 7 September (with Mongla) in Kengtung, capital of Shan State East.
The action followed the government’s latest four point proposal which says to have no hostilities between the two sides, to reopen liaison offices on both sides; to inform each other in advance if one side is entering the other side’s territory carrying arms and to form a joint coordination committee for regional development as soon as possible. On Sunday, Taping checkpoint between Mongla and Kengtung that has been shut down by Burma military army since March reopened.
“Their policy towards ethnic armed groups is still the old ‘divide and rule’ like they did in 1989. They are now trying to separate the groups that are members of the newly formed United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) and those that are not. It will therefore persuade the groups who are not members of UNFC,” said Major Sai La.
The UNFC was formed in February 2011, and is composed of six armed groups as permanent members: the Karen National Union (KNU), the New Mon State Party (NMSP), the Chin National Front (CNF), the Kachin Independence Organization, the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), and the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA).
A month after the UNFC’s formation, the junta military started launching military operations against the SSPP/SSA and the KIA in June to date. More junta military troops are still being deployed to the KIA and SSA fronts, according to local sources.
Regarding the recent UWSA and Mongla’s action, some see it as a positive sign and others as negative.
Nai Hongsa, General Secretary of UNFC said, “It is a loss for us [the ethnic armed groups] for letting the military to break us apart easily. It shows that we ethnic armed groups are not united enough.”