An influential Chin group asked the government and the Chin National Front (CNF) to resolve the conflict in Paletwa township by forcing the Arakan Army (AA) out of southern Chin State.
In a recent statement by the Chin Peace and Tranquility Committee (CPTC) it said that the Union-level ceasefire the CNF signed with the Union Peace Working Committee (UPWC) in 2012 allows for only the armed organization to be deployed in the state and that AA troops in Paletwa township are in violation of this agreement.
The CPTC acted as a mediator during the signing of the CNF ceasefire agreement with the government and has been monitoring it to ensure both sides are following the ceasefire.
Rev Tluang Ceu, who is the CPTC secretary, told Khonumthung News that fighting between the CNF and the Tatmadaw has never been serious but now the “situation is really bad” in Chin State with “many clashes between the Burma Army and the Arakan Army.”
“It’s really difficult to solve this problem. What I want to say is the government and CNF need to take full responsibility for this problem and together make AA leave Chin State.”
The Tatmadaw and AA have been fighting in Paletwa township since 2015 but this year clashes have intensified. At least 50 civilians have been killed by fighting, while 6,757 people from 1,550 families have been internally displaced in Paletwa and Sami in southern Chin State, according to CPTC.
Salai Htet Ni, the CNF spokesperson, told Khonumthung News his organization is in agreement with CPTC’s statement and so are the Chin people. He said no-one wants the AA troops in Chin State.
According to the statement, a lot of Chin villages have been destroyed. Many civilians have been tortured, injured or killed, and they don’t have enough food or proper shelter. The government needs to provide for their health and security and help them return to their homes. During the pandemic, the CPTC requested for the Burma Army and AA to stop fighting and join against the fight against COVID-19.
The Burma Army announced a unilateral ceasefire from May 10 to August 31 across most of the country. The Army claims the ceasefire will help it combat the coronavirus but it excluded Rakhine and Chin states where fighting has caused the displacement of thousands of civilians that are particularly vulnerable during the pandemic.