Myanmar Army Announces Unilateral Ceasefire Against Ethnic Rebels
13:47 21.12.2018(updated 14:03 21.12.2018)
The Myanmar Army (Tatmadaw) announced a unilateral ceasefire on Friday in five regional commands (North, Northeast, East, Middle East and Triangle) to facilitate negotiations with rebel groups fighting in different parts of the country.
In the first major breakthrough since 2011, the Myanmar Army had declared a unilateral ceasefire against various rebel groups fighting in different parts of the nation. The proclaimed ceasefire includes de-escalation of troop mobilisation. The move towards a unilateral ceasefire was decided upon to facilitate un-hindered negotiations with the ethnic rebel groups.
The Myanmar Army has formed a negotiations team led by Lt. General Yar Pyae and includes senior and regional commanders. The team will discuss issues with rebel groups, especially the prominent ones like the Arakan Army in northern Rakhine state.
Nevertheless, the Myanmar Army has made it clear that ethnic armed organisations should respect four out of six principles, namely, to keep promises agreed to in peace deals, avoid capitalising on the peace agreement, avoid placing a heavy burden on local people, and to abide by existing laws.
Myanmar Army did not impose a sixth principle "to march towards a democratic country in accord with the 2008 Constitution".
In last few days over 700 people have been displaced by clashes between the Myanmar Army and the Arakan Army (AA) in northern Rakhine State.
A study conducted by the Myanmar Institute for Peace and Security (MIPS) says that there were 44 clashes in November – 21 between ethnic armed groups and the army, and 23 between ethnic armed groups themselves.
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