Myanmar military refutes northern alliance armed group's gunfire exchange statement

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-26 11:54:52|Editor: Liangyu
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YANGON, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar military has refuted a statement made by the Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), one of the Northern Alliance ethnic armed group, which accused the government forces of launching an offensive against TNLA on Monday.

Zaw Min Tun, deputy director of Public Relations and Psychological Warfare of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army), said that the TNLA statement and the coverage by the Radio Free Asia and The Irrawaddy were both false, the official Global New Light of Myanmar reported on Wednesday.

The deputy director cited a military announcement issued on Dec. 21 as saying that the armed forces will unilaterally suspend all its military action against armed groups in operation areas in five regional commands for over four months starting from Dec. 21 until April 30, 2019.

The military command areas include northern, northeastern, eastern, central-eastern and triangle's.

The announcement of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief called on all those remaining non-ceasefire signatory armed groups in respective operation areas to negotiate for ceasefire and peace with the National Reconciliation and Peace Center during the military's non-operation period to sign the Nationwide Cease fire Accord (NCA).

The deputy director said the all five regional commands were given specific directions to observe ceasefire immediately after the military's Dec. 21 announcement, confirming that there has been no fighting since then.

However, he added that the military has not directed the Western Command in Rakhine state to cease its operation as there found terrorist groups active in the area which is not classified as peaceful or stable region.

The military's announcement came after Dec. 12 joint statement of three non-ceasefire signatory Northern Alliance Ethnic Forces, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and Arakan Army (AA), in which they voiced support for the government's efforts for national reconciliation and nationwide peace.

The three forces expressed their desire to join hands with government to settle military dispute and political matters through dialogue, while hoping for suspension of military action to pave way for the political engagement.