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Two major ethnic armed groups in Shan state—the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and the Mongla- based National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA-ESS)—have urged the Burmese military to stop offensives against ethnic rebel groups, actions which they say are detrimental to the peace process.
Aung Myint, spokesperson for the UWSA, said the two armed groups released a joint-statement on Sunday calling on the government to stop attacking ethnic militias, saying they are concerned the aggression can cause negative impacts on the ongoing ceasefire negotiations.
“We have seen various developments in the peace negotiations, but at the same time military offensives are being carried out in southern Myanmar [Burma] as well as Shan State. These conflicts are a threat to the peace-building process,” said Aung Myint.
The UWSA spokesperson continued, “Failure to reach a ceasefire agreement and engage in political dialogue will cause further delays in the peace process. Our ultimate hope is to see an end to the civil conflict which has been raging in Burma for over 60 years.”
Aung Myint said recent attacks on Shan State Army-North outposts in Shan state’s Kehsi Mansam Township, involving over 1,000 Burmese government forces supported by heavy artillery and mortar fire, have caused panic among local populations and could undermine peace efforts.
In their statement, the UWSA and NDAA-ESS denounced these moves by the Burmese army as detrimental to ethnic unity and internal peace. They also called for an immediately end to aggression, and demanded that government troops withdraw from the SSA-N outposts they captured on 2 October. The statement also urged both sides to find a peaceful way to end the conflict.