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Friday, May 24, 2024

Ceasefire reached between military and guerrilla groups

Major General Zaw Min Tun, spokesperson for Myanmar's ruling military council, confirmed the development in an audio note to journalists.

Myanmar’s military and an alliance of ethnic minority guerrilla groups, known as the Three Brotherhood Alliance, have reached a temporary ceasefire agreement in the country’s northeast. The accord was facilitated by China during talks held in Kunming on Wednesday and Thursday, with both sides agreeing to an immediate ceasefire, withdrawal of military personnel, and the resolution of disputes through negotiations.

China, which mediated the discussions, emphasized the importance of conscientiously implementing the agreement and urged the parties involved to exercise maximum restraint while resolving issues through dialogue. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning stated these remarks during a daily briefing in Beijing.

Major General Zaw Min Tun, spokesperson for Myanmar’s ruling military council, confirmed the development in an audio note to journalists, expressing the intention to continue discussions and strengthen the ceasefire. The ceasefire aims to halt aerial bombing and artillery shelling in northern Shan state, adjacent to China, by the military, while the Three Brotherhood Alliance commits to ceasing its offensive and refraining from capturing additional towns and army encampments.

Notably, the previous ceasefire pact reached in mid-December had not been honored by either side. The current agreement also includes assurances from both parties not to endanger the safety of Chinese people living in the border area and Chinese projects and personnel in Myanmar.

Three Brotherhood Alliance against the military

The conflict in Myanmar, initiated after the military coup in February 2021, has witnessed an offensive by the Three Brotherhood Alliance against the military since October. This alliance, comprising the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, and the Arakan Army, has claimed victories, including the seizure of military posts, towns, and border crossing points.

The ongoing violence along Myanmar’s border with China has disrupted cross-border trade and raised concerns for the safety of Chinese citizens in the region. China has been actively involved in mediating and addressing these security issues while also cracking down on cyber-scam operations trafficking Chinese workers into Myanmar.

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As the situation evolves, both Myanmar and China plan to negotiate the reopening of border trading gates, which had been closed due to the conflict, and are now under the control of the Three Brotherhood Alliance. The ceasefire agreement represents a significant development in the complex geopolitical landscape of the region.