The future of peace in Burma is uncertain. While government officials discuss ceasefire agreements with some ethnic groups, the military aggressively attacks others. In a strong sign of unity, an ethnic alliance, the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) has stated its deep concern for the ongoing violence in Kachin state, and how “an attack on a member is the same as an attack on all the members.” The UNFC is composed of a dozen ethnic armed groups, including those who have signed ceasefire agreements, as well as those in active combat. They cannot see Thein Sein’s ceasefire talks with as genuine as long as attacks continue in Kachin areas. Even though they are armed groups, what they desire is a peaceful political process that will bring equality and rights to ethnic peoples. Stay updated on conflict and human rights in Burma by following our Crisis Map.
The UNFC have now set a deadline of June 10, 2012: If the Burma military doesn’t’ stop its aggression by then, then the other existing ceasefire agreements will be possibly suspended. Peace for one has to be peace for all, only then can the process of finding a lasting national peace settlement be reached.
Furthermore, these ethnic leaders realize that Burma’s military shouldn’t be rewarded for ongoing aggression and human rights abuses, and so call on the international community “not to suspend or lift the remaining political, military, financial and economic sanctions.”
The attacks against civilians in Kachin State have been ongoing. The Burma Army’s brutal attacks in Kachin State are on going. People are fleeing their homes to escape the conflict, says one displaced Kachin “When the soldiers came to our village, they separate men and women, they tortures men and rapes women, we can’t bear it anymore so we have fled.”