Military


The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an umbrella organisation of ethnic armed groups, is to hold an official meeting with the National League for Democracy (NLD) and other Burmese pro-democracy groups for the first time.
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The nationwide ceasefire accord, development projects and drug eradication were among the top issues discussed when Shan, Wa and Mongla army leaders met with Burma’s president and military chief earlier this week.
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The Tatmadaw has agreed to discuss the potential formation of a federal army, one of the ethnic armed groups’ key demands in the ongoing peace process.
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The Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT)—a 16-member body which has been negotiating a nationwide ceasefire with Naypyidaw on behalf of most of Burma’s major armed ethnic groups—would like civil society organizations to refrain from participating in the upcoming tripartite peace talks on political issues, said NCCT leader Nai Hong Sar. The three-party peace talks will involve the NCCT, political parties, and the Burmese government.
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Leaders of ethnic armed groups say they want Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to observe the signing of the nationwide ceasefire agreement and the accompanying political dialogue. Nai Han Tha, leader of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), said on August 19 the groups wanted the NLD chairperson to take a larger role in the peace process as a leading representative of the public.
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The Burmese government’s Union Peacemaking Working Committee (UWPC) and ethnic rebel groups’ Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) met to discuss the signing of a nationwide ceasefire agreement in Rangoon last week.
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The Burmese government and ethnic leaders say they will hold another round of peace talks early next month to hammer out final disagreements before setting a date for the nationwide ceasefire accord.
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One civilian was shot dead and another hospitalized with a gunshot wound following a clash between government troops and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) on Monday morning in northern Shan State, according to the ethnic rebel group.
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In a move that a local politician has said was the first of its kind in Kachin State, the Burmese Army apologised to villagers displaced by recent clashes in Hpakant Township between government troops and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
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There is not a conversation or discussion on the Myanmar peace process that does not include two words: “trust” and “distrust”. As far as the peace process is concerned, no matter who speaks on any given occasion, the two words are either mentioned in passing or featured prominently.
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About 200 Kachin civilians in Kachin State’s Hpakant Township have been newly displaced by clashes between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in recent days, according to local leaders and Kachin rebel sources, who said that the fighting erupted after government forces entered a rebel-controlled ruby mining area.
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Generally, a trip to this border town is not easy. Though Laiza is situated in Kachin State, visitors are not normally able to get here directly as the road is blocked by the Burmese military thanks to recent fighting with the rebel Kachin Independent Army, which calls the town its headquarters. Instead, travelers must take a roundabout trip to the Chinese side before crossing over and entering Laiza from Burma’s northern neighbor.
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The peace process undertaken by Burma’s government and the country’s ethnic armed groups could take several generations to complete, according to an analyst watching the negotiations closely.
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Several political parties in Myanmar said Tuesday that the government appeared to be rushing to conclude a nationwide cease-fire agreement with armed ethnic groups without enabling them to adequately address the key concerns of the groups.
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Villagers in Sagaing Division’s Kanbalu have reached an agreement with the Burmese army after negotiations over the return of their farmland, a local resident said on Monday.
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Japanese government officials and donor organizations met with government advisors, Karen State officials and Karen rebel commanders to discuss the possible implementation of Japanese-funded development projects in rebel-controlled areas during the peace process, a government advisor has said.
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The week-long Laiza conference of 18 ethnic armed organizations which concluded on July 31st proposed that Japan and Norway be invited as signatory witnesses to the planned nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) signing ceremony, according to sources returning from the Sino-Burmese border.
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Myanmar’s government has expressed optimism that a meeting held at the weekend with the country’s armed ethnic groups could be among the last before the two sides complete a long-awaited nationwide cease-fire agreement, according to the leader of a local political party Monday.
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With its bumpy roads and deep poverty, Myanmar is one of the last places you expect to come across a flashy new Ferrari sports car. But in late May, that is what I saw sitting on the back of a truck in the border town of Myawaddy.
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Ethnic leaders have made a number of decisions on a draft nationwide ceasefire agreement but say they want further guarantees from the government on minority rights, particularly the introduction of a federal system.
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