UNFC con­demns on­go­ing mil­i­tary of­fen­sives

The Myanmar Times - - News - LUN MIN MANG lun­min­mang@mm­times.com

IN an ef­fort to ease mil­i­tary ten­sion in Kachin and north­ern Shan states, the United Na­tion­al­i­ties Fed­eral Coun­cil has called on the Tat­madaw to halt of­fen­sives in eth­nic ar­eas in a state­ment re­leased by the group.

The UNFC, an eth­nic bloc made up of seven armed groups in­clud­ing the Kachin In­de­pen­dence Army (KIA) which is cur­rently at odds with the Tat­madaw, seemed to blame the Na­tional League for Democ­racy-led gov­ern­ment for its in­abil­ity to start po­lit­i­cal di­a­logue.

Although it did not di­rectly name the NLD-led gov­ern­ment, it re­ferred to “those in power and gov­ern­ments, in suc­ces­sive eras”.

The UNFC said the Tat­madaw was re­spon­si­ble for “ag­gres­sion against the lands of the eth­nic na­tion­al­i­ties”.

If the Tat­madaw does not stop fight­ing with the armed eth­nic groups, the UNFC’s state­ment said, “peace will still be far and away”.

The KIA also re­leased a state­ment over the week­end blam­ing the Tat­madaw for the on­go­ing fight­ing in the Kachin and north­ern Shan states. The KIA’s state­ment said that the mil­i­tary’s of­fen­sive be­gan on August 16 and is still on­go­ing, with the Tat­madaw us­ing air­craft against KIA fight­ers. They claim the first sud­den strike came against a bat­tal­ion in Laiphaung and then the next day in Inkram.

Last week, the KIA’s Lieu­tenant Colonel Naw Bu said the Tat­madaw’s air­crafts at­tacked a KIA post in Gi­don. He did not pro­vide fig­ures on in­juries and ca­su­al­ties. How­ever, since the very be­gin­ning of the fight­ing, he said, “At least 10 were wounded or killed.”

“The Tat­madaw will have to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the neg­a­tive con­se­quences that arise as a re­sult of the cur­rent mil­i­tary of­fen­sives,” the state­ment said.

De­spite mil­i­tary ten­sions, KIA and mem­bers of the UNFC at­tended the 21st-cen­tury Pan­g­long Con­fer­ence at the end of August. How­ever, the UNFC de­clined to at­tend a meet­ing to re­view the frame­work of po­lit­i­cal di­a­logues.

Last week, tens of thou­sands protested in streets of My­itky­ina call­ing for the end of mil­i­tary of­fen­sives. Or­gan­is­ers of the event are fac­ing charges for al­legedly not com­ply­ing with the agree­ments set with the po­lice, said Daw Nang Pu, a peace and women’s rights ac­tivist.

“The po­lice said that what pro­test­ers shouted out dur­ing the march was not pre­sented to the po­lice when the or­gan­is­ers asked for per­mis­sion,” she said.

‘The Tat­madaw will have to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the neg­a­tive con­se­quences that arise as a re­sult of the cur­rent mil­i­tary of­fen­sives.’

State­ment by the KIA

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