The UN should mediate the upcoming peace talks between the Myanmar government and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), said Kachin peace broker San Aung.
“The United Nations should strongly urge the Myanmar government to undertake practical peace efforts to prevent both sides from attacking each other under the pretext of self-defense,” he said. “The UN needs to give the negotiations an added impetus to ensure the peace process is practical and fruitful.”

According to San Aung, both sides are still launching military offensives in Kachin State despite calls for a truce.

On February 7, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that he welcomes the joint statement issued last week by Myanmar’s Peacemaking Committee and the delegation of the KIO in Ruili, China. The UN Secretary-General’s statement said he hopes that the latest developments will result in a “silencing of the guns in Myanmar for the first time since its independence.”

A delegation representing the Myanmar government met with the KIO for preliminary talks in Ruili on February 4.

Ban urged the two parties to continue their efforts towards genuine and sustainable peace in Kachin State.

However, despite the UN Secretary-General’s words of encouragement, broker San Aung said that the guns are anything but silent in Kachin State.

“Both sides are so close to each other on the battlefield, that assaults and counter-assaults are ongoing,” he said.