Three Brotherhoods Alliance Extends Unilateral Ceasefire Until After Election
By Network Media Group
Thursday, September 3, 2020
The Three Brotherhoods Alliance extended its unilateral ceasefire, which would have expired on September 1, until November 9, one day after Burma’s scheduled 2020 general election.
The Three Brotherhoods Alliance is the Arakan Army (AA), Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA).
Maj Mai Aik Kyaw, in charge of TNLA, explained the alliance’s decision to continue the ceasefire for several reasons. “Our objectives are to protect against a second wave of COVID-19, facilitate political negotiations and allow citizens to vote independently during the upcoming general election.”
A joint statement announcing the extension of the ceasefire said the alliance welcomed China’s participation in political dialogue with the Government of Burma and the Burma Army. “At this time, we profoundly request the People’s Republic of China to continue to facilitate the peace process as it has done in the past.”
Maj Mai Aik Kyaw told NMG during previous negotiations that agents for the Chinese government acted as facilitators. This instilled a sense of security for Three Brotherhoods Alliance leaders, some of whom are actively fighting with the Burma Army. With no peace talks planned, he hoped China would facilitate a meeting to help resolve the current “deadlock”. However, with the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Burma, it is difficult for stakeholders to sit down for talks and discuss the possibility of signing a bilateral ceasefire.
Among the other points outlined, the joint statement said the alliance is extending its unilateral ceasefire to resume “political dialogue” that could lead to a “genuine ceasefire” that would “truly benefit the lives and properties” of Burma’s citizens while improving security along the border.
In northern Shan State, where TNLA is based, fighting has dramatically decreased. But in Rakhine State, clashes between the Burma Army and AA have intensified. Maj Mai Aik Kyaw wants the hostilities to stop.
Three Brotherhoods Alliance member groups are also part of the Federal Political Negotiation Consultative Committee (FPNCC).