Restoration Council of Shan State leader General Yawd Serk meets with junta chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing in May 2022.
Myanmar’s parallel National Unity Government (NUG) declared on Wednesday that any agreements made with the terrorist regime are illegal and warned that they won’t be recognized, as the junta continued to hold talks with a number of ethnic armed organizations (EAO).
This week on Tuesday, the United Wa State Party (UWSP), the political wing of the United Wa State Army (UWSA), the country’s most powerful EAO, met with junta chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. After the meeting, the regime said that the UWSP agreed on the principle of establishing a federal democracy and that it agreed in principle to the UWSP’s demand for an autonomous state for ethnic Wa people.
The eastern Shan State-based UWSP is the fourth EAO to hold talks with the regime, following the Restoration Council of Shan State, the New Mon State Party and the Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army – Peace Council. In earlier meetings, the parties were reported to have discussed establishing a federal multi-party democracy and to have reached some general “agreements”.
But on Wednesday, the NUG, which has wide public support and backing overseas, said in a statement that the military regime is a terrorist organization which will be tried at the International Court of Justice for committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
“It has no de jure power mandated by the people or de facto power to govern the country,” said the NUG statement.
Since last year’s coup, the junta has killed at least 1,878 people and detained around 14,000 more. The NUG declared the regime a terrorist organization in June 2021.
“The regime has no right to negotiate with contracting parties like a union government,” the NUG stated on Wednesday. “Therefore, we hereby announce that any negotiations with the terrorist regime are illegal and won’t be recognized by the NUG and any of its successors.”
Engulfed by mounting armed resistance across the country, coup leader Min Aung Hlaing invited leaders of EAOs who are both signatories and non-signatories to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) for talks in late May “to end armed conflict”.
Seven of the ten signatories to the NCA accepted the invitation, as did non-signatories the Shan State Progress Party, the UWSP and the National Democratic Alliance Army.
Other major EAOs are currently fighting the regime and rejected the junta’s offer of peace talks as neither genuine nor all-inclusive.