Three Brotherhood Alliance announce a 25 day unilateral ceasefire extension

Man Yu Kyaw (Shwe Wa Mye)
Sittwe March 3rd 2020

The Three Brotherhood Alliance, made up of the Kokang (MNTJP/MNDAA), the Ta’ang (PSLF/TNLA) and the Rakhine (ULA/AA), have announced in a statement made today a 25 day extension to the unilateral ceasefire.

The statement said that the ceasefire would be extended from March 1 to March 25 with the aim to build a peaceful environment for the 2020 elections, to implement negotiations and peace talks practically so that the bilateral ceasefire agreement could be signed, peace established and the civil war ended, and to provide collective support to overcome the Corona virus. 

The Brotherly Alliance said in the statement that the Myanmar Tatmadaw continues to intensify land, air and naval offensive operations against the Arakan Army, a member of the alliance.  Similarly, military operations and fighting continues to occur in in Ta’ang and Kokang areas. Therefore the three members of the Brotherhood Alliance have announced that Tatmadaw military operations would be monitored within the time limit of the ceasefire extension period.

Myanmar Political Analyst U Maung Maung Soe said, “In my opinion, regardless of which side issues it, a unilateral ceasefire simply won’t work. I think bilateral discussions over a ceasefire would be more effective,” he said.

In the statement, the Three Brotherhood Alliance urged the Tatmadaw to immediately cease offensive operations against ethnic armed organisations and expressed the desire for negotiations to be held and a bilateral ceasefire agreement to be signed as soon as possible. 

“China needs to enter the discussions. They couldn’t in January because it was the Chinese New Year. In February the Corona virus struck. China was unable to be involved so they couldn’t meet.  If there is no one available to mediate then I think it’s going to be difficult to hold discussions,” U Maung Maung Soe said.

The statement said that the Three Brotherhood Alliance, together with the oppressed ethnic people, would respond defensively to protect themselves if there were attacks made by the Tatmadaw on any member of the alliance during the period of the unilateral ceasefire.
Although this is the fourth time the Three Brotherhood Alliance has announced a unilateral ceasefire, on no occasion has it resulted in a cessation of hostilities.
The Northern Alliance, made up of four ethnic armed organisations including the Arakan Army, had arranged for Chinese-mediated negotiations to be held in the second week of February.  However during a press conference on February 21st U Zaw Htay announced that the discussions had been cancelled following the outbreak of the Corona virus.