After meeting Burmese peace negotiating team twice last month in Kachin Independence Organization controlled territory, the KIO has rejected the government’s invitation to meet later in the month in government controlled areas in Bhamo (Manmaw) in Kachin State or Muse in Shan State, according to Kachin officials.
During both unofficial meetings, at the beginning and end of June in Mai Ja Yang, the KIO repeatedly demanded for the government to withdraw their troops from Kachin Independence Army (KIA) front lines.
Last month’s meetings followed a similar vein as with previous political negotiations held in Ruili (Shweli) in Yunnan, China in November, January and March. Both sides have been unable to come to agreement on the most basic terms. The government wants the KIO to sign a ceasefire before they will discuss pulling back from the front lines. But the KIO won’t discuss the idea of a ceasefire until the Burmese army leaves KIO territories. Additionally they want the participation of an international independent body like the UN to get involved in any such agreement.
In May, the KIO urged the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to intervene in the Kachin conflict and do more to provide humanitarian aid to the estimated 75,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs).
According to KIO officials, the government peace negotiation team led by U Aung Min of Minister of Railways has invited them to meet in government controlled areas later this month.
But they said future meetings can take place in either Laiza or Mai Ja Yang or the neutral territory between Bhamo (Manmaw)-Loije road in Kachin State.