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Kokang group joins UNFC

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Khitar Non – The United National Federal Council (UNFC) has accepted the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) – also known as the Kokang Democracy Party – as their newest member.

MNDAA soldiers are depicted in this undated photo. (Photo: internet)
MNDAA soldiers are depicted in this undated photo. (Photo: internet)
The decision was finalized at the closing of a Thursday meeting with ethnic armed groups that are not part of the UNFC. Nai Hong Sar, who serves as general secretary for both the UNFC and the New Mon State Party (NMSP), said the MNDAA requested to join.

“We have accepted their request to become a new member, but as a temporary member for now,” said the general secretary adding that the necessary paperwork still needs to completed.

Earlier in the week, the UNFC held a three day internal meeting in the Thai city of Chiang Mai where they established three chief points to serve as framework for equality for ethnic groups in the Union, Nai Hong Sar said.

“UNFC has discussed about the equal standards for all ethnic (groups).”

A statement that makes these points official will come at their next meeting.

U Phone Win Naing, an official for the MNDAA, said like all the ethnic groups their party wants peace. By joining the UNFC they can “work together, hand in hand”, he said.

The other non-UNFC ethnic armed groups also in attendance at the recent meeting agreed with the points raised. The groups included: Arakan Liberation Party (ALB), Arakan Army (AA), Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), MNDAA and All Burma Student Democratic Font (ABSDF).

In the same week that the UNFC met, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) met with government representatives in the Kachin state capital of Myitkyina. At the end of the three day meeting, a joint statement was reached allowing both sides to move forward on seven-point agreement reached during the May peace discussions. The agreement is intended to de-escalate tensions, among other things.

The KIO also invited all the ethnic armed groups to take part in upcoming meeting in the party’s Laiza headquarters.

Meanwhile, the government is pushing for all the major ethnic armed groups to sign a nationwide ceasefire by month’s end.

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