Three ethnic armed groups – TNLA, MNDAA and the AA released a joint statement on August 12, asking Tatmadaw to stop launching offensives in Arakan State and northern Myanmar.
Khaing Thukha, Arakan Army’s spokesperson, said that the big attacks made by Tatmadaw were the main reason that the current peace talks weren’t able to move forward.
“If they do make attacks like this, it becomes a barrier to build trust between groups. That’s why; the Tatmadaw needs to stop its attacks to build trust and to keep moving towards peace talks. If Tatmadaw keeps launching offensives, trust will be broken and it will be a barrier to future peace talks,” Khaing Thukha said.
The fighting between the Myanmar Tatmadaw and Arakan Army (AA) has been going on for nearly nine months. The alliance groups said in the statement that the Tatmadaw speeded up its attacks in Arakan State and that it killed hundreds of Arakan people and left 60,000 people homeless.
The statement also said that more than 10 confrontations broke out between Tatmadaw and ethnic armed groups in Kokang and Ta’ang regions in the first week of August. If the Tatmadaw continue attacks, the statement said, they will have to take responsibility for the outcomes.
“The reason that peace talks cannot keep going on is because of one sided activities and unfair talking from the Myanmar government and Tatmadaw. For example, they said that AA has to return to Liaza, the TNLA has to stay only in the Pa Laung self- administered zone and Kokang group has to go back to Houng Aeain region. These directives are totally unfair for us,” Khaing Thukha said.
Three alliance groups said that even though they were trying to have a meeting via China and the FPNCC group to discuss the initial ceasefire draft contract purposed by Tatmadaw, the meeting was delayed because of problems concerning the location for meetings.
DMG tried to contact Major- General Tun Tun Nyi from Tatamadaw True News Information Team to ask about the statement by the armed groups, but couldn’t get in touch with him.