Myanmar’s Junta Chief called for in-person peace talks with the country’s established ethnic rebel groups, as the military struggles to crush newer anti-junta militias that have sprung up to fight the coup. Among the call, he excluded the NUG (National Unity Government), PDFs (Peoples Defense Forces) and LDFs (Local Defense Forces) as the junta council has labeled these groups as terrorist organizations.
‘I invite leaders of ethnic armed groups for dialogue. We are all going to discuss honestly and openly… for the people to be able to enjoy the essence of peace and development,’ junta Chief Min Aung Hlaing said in an address to the state media on the 22nd of April, calling for representatives to register by May 9th and adding he would meet them personally.
Some days later, major EAOs rejected the call, each with varying statements. They unanimously however, suggested that all the stakeholders (i.e. NUG, PDFs etc.) should be invited to the meeting. These EAOs are among those who have been fighting heavily with the military since the coup.
Many junta opponents believe his calling for talks now is a cynical scheme because the military has suffered such large losses since the coup. They now need peace with the EAOs so that they can send troops engaged in fighting the EAOs to reinforce other troops. Indeed, throughout the past two decades in the peace talking process, there has been no peace in Myanmar because the military has always been at odds with the EAOs, leaving out those who should have been involved. Peace talks can not be resolved without the right people.
Let’s pray that there will be a true peace talk in Myanmar, with all the necessary parties present. The people fear that in the meantime there will be more fighting between the junta and the rebel forces. Let’s pray that the people will receive God’s peace and protection.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”