9 days after the signing of a new ceasefire treaty with Naypyitaw, the United Wa State Army (UWSA) will be holding a meeting today to discuss how to deal with the return of peace, particularly the planned return of Burmese officials who left the Wa controlled territory last year, according to sources from the Sino-Burmese border.
The UWSA used to host up to 100 regime officials, including a detachment of troops, border development (known as na-ta-la) workers, teachers, medical workers and agriculturists, according to a local source. This does not take into account those working with the UN and NGOs.“We need to anticipate new developments and new problems,” a Wa official was quoted as saying, “as the situation has changed since 2009 (when relations between the two sides soured following Naypyitaw’s demand that the UWSA and other ceasefire groups come under the command of the Burma Army).”
Its southern and closest ally, Mongla-based National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), says it is waiting for the results of the Wa meeting to consider how it will cope with the return of Burmese officials. The NDAA, having a joint official border-crossing, will also be playing host to officials from Immigration and Customs departments.
“Mongla will be careful about how it is going handle the Burmese officials,” said a source close to the leadership. “One of them told me that ‘the snake that shed its skin doesn’t become a new snake.’”
The Wa signed the agreement on 6 September and Mongla followed on 7 September. So far Naypyitaw is not reported to be reaching out to other major groups, particularly the two against which it had launched offensives in March and June respectively: Shan State Army (SSA) and Kachin Independence Army (KIA)