NCA-signatory EAOs take ‘initial step’ toward forming coalition with non-signatories

Ten ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) signatory to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) prior to the coup will reach out to non-signatory EAOs for talks aimed at forming a coalition, representatives decided in a recent meeting. 

A seven-person committee was formed to orchestrate the discussions, Col Sai Nguen, a spokesperson of the NCA-signatory EAOs’ Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) told Myanmar Now. 

The PPST held its own meeting online from April 26-27.  

Col Sai Nguen, who is also an officer within the Restoration Council of Shan State, said that the negotiations committee would approach groups such as the Kachin Independence Army, United Wa State Army, Shan State Progress Party, Ta’ang National Liberation Army, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, Arakan Army and the Karenni National Progressive Party about working together against the junta. 

“Our intention is for EAOs to be able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the other side in the future talks,” he said. “The new coalition is intended to create an all-inclusive environment. I understand that how much we will be able to do depends on our negotiations. This is just the initial step.” 

Myanmar Now tried to contact representatives of the Kachin Independence Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army about their response to the PPST’s plans, but did not receive a response at the time of reporting. 

In addition to the consensus on pursuing a broader coalition, the PPST meeting also concluded with demands for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners detained by the junta, and calls on the regime to end its brutal crackdowns on civilians. 

Military tension between Myanmar’s armed forces and EAOs has heightened, and the junta has launched recent airstrikes in areas controlled by the Karen National Union– an NCA signatory– and the Kachin Independence Army, a non-signatory.  

The PPST also strongly condemned the junta’s air attacks on ethnic villages in these areas and called for an immediate halt to these strikes.  

They welcomed international mediation in Myanmar’s crisis, including by ASEAN, and agreed to cooperate in any such efforts. 

PPST spokesperson Colonel Sai Nguen noted that he did not believe that the junta was open to compromise, and would continue to work within their own roadmap.

Both individually and collectively, EAOs have expressed support for the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) and its interim National Unity Government, in opposition to the coup council which ousted Myanmar’s government on February 1.


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