Wa, Mongla to visit junta leaders

MONDAY, 26 OCTOBER 2009 17:03 HSENG KHIO FAH

The United Wa State Army (UWSA) and the National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA-ESS) better known as the Mongla group, which are still rejecting the junta’s demand to become Burma Army run Border Guard Force (BGFs), are reportedly planning to visit some Burma Army commanders very soon, according to reliable sources close to the groups’ leadership.

An informed Wa source confirmed that the aim of the visit is to restore existing peace between the Burma Army and the Wa, because both sides have not been in touch since the Wa refused the junta’s demand to transform themselves as border security force in June.

“If both remain intransigent, peace between that has lasted 20 years will be in vain,” he quoted a Wa leader as saying.

Since the Wa’s rejection to the Burma Army’s proposal in June, tension between the two sides has been high and both have beefed up more troops, weapons and supplies to border areas between them.

Likewise, Mongla that is also sending its delegation to Kengtung soon says for peace to last, each side must be willing to meet half way.

However, dates of the visit are so far unavailable. The UWSA and the Mongla are the two remaining members of the Peace and Democracy Front (PDF) that have remained in opposition to the junta’s demand so far. One of their allies New Democratic Army-Kachin (NDA-K) had agreed to transform themselves as Border Guard Forces (BGFs) on 8 June and while another ally Kokang group aka Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) had broken up following the attack by the Burma Army in August.

PDF was formed on 30 November 1989 by 4 former Communist Party of Burma (CPB) armed forces: Kokang National Democratic Alliance Army, later Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), also known as the Chinese Kokang, New Democratic Army-Kachin (NDA-K), National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA-ESS) and the United Wa State Army (UWSA).

On the Wa side, it says it has yet to decide on the BGF proposal. “We will ask the Burmese leaders to give us more time until a new government has been formed.”

Tensions between the Burma Army and the ceasefires groups has been growing as the SPDC attempts to pressure all the ceasefire groups to transform themselves into Border Guard Forces or surrender their arms and contest in the upcoming elections as political parties.

Border analyst says the thaw in the current relationship between the Wa, Mongla and the Burma Army may be because of China’s mediation.

On 19 October, Secretary-1 Gen Tin Aung Myint Oo made a visit to China and met Deputy Prime Minister Li Keqiang. The minister said that both countries must safeguard stability along the border.

The regime’s attacks against the Kokang in northern Shan State in August have driven over 37,000 refugees into China area and have also worsened the situation.

In the mean time, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao insisted again to his Burmese counterpart Gen Thein Sein that “China sincerely hopes for Myanmar’s political stability, economic development and national reconciliation” on Saturday during the Asean-China Summit, in Cha-am, Thailand.

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