The first scheduled informal meeting between the Burmese government’s National Reconciliation and Peace Centre (NRPC) and members of the Northern Alliance of ethnic armed groups has been delayed.
Representatives from the NRPC and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO)—a member of the Northern Alliance—held an informal meeting in Kunming, in China’s Yunnan Province, on January 21. It was reportedly agreed that another meeting, with all of the members of the Northern Alliance, would take place between February 13 and 20.
According to Lamai Gum Ja, who is working with the Kachin State-based Peace-talk Creation Group, Northern Alliance members proposed that the meeting be held on February 25, but at the time of reporting, they were still awaiting a reply from the NRPC.
“The proposed meeting would take place between the government and four members of the Northern Alliance group,” Lamai Gum Ja told KNG, referring to the Arakan Army (AA), KIO, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army. “Negotiations are still underway,” he added.
Kachin State Democracy Party chairperson Dr. Tu Ja said that recent clashes in Rakhine State between the Burma Army and the AA are a major obstacle to the peace negotiation process between the government and Northern Alliance members.
The Northern Alliance released a joint statement on December 27 of last year calling for “a halt to the military offensive against the AA… as soon as possible.”
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