The Chin National Front (CNF) has called on both the Burma Army and Arakan Army (AA) to immediately stop fighting on Chin national land.
The call came during the CNF’s seventh conference held at the organization’s Victoria headquarters from March 16-19.
A statement released by the group said that the Arakanese troops were not to be based in Chin territory, in accordance with the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), to which the CNF is a signatory.
“In the NCA agreement with the government, there must only be the Burma Army and the Chin National Army on Chin land,” CNF general secretary Salai Thla Hei told Khonumthung News, referring to the armed wing of his organization.
He said that the CNF had proposed having their troops deployed to Paletwa Township in southern Chin State, where the AA and Burma Army have been engaged in intensifying clashes.
“The government told us they would take care of security in the area. But as of today, our Chin people are not safe in the area,” the general secretary said. “If they cannot take security for our people, they need to allow our troops to be deployed in the area. We are still trying. Our people have demanded that war stop in our Chin land and war crimes stop being committed against our people.”
Not everyone was supportive of the CNF’s move. Saw Mya, the coordinator of the Khumi Affairs Coordination Council, said that there are more effective actions that could be taken than releasing this statement.
“They should respond to it with practical action. They have released statements since 2017, 2018. There is no change,” he said. “They should act in more effective ways, such as by providing assistance to IDPs, negotiating with both government and AA troops.”
Additionally, the most recent event causing mass displacement were air strikes carried out by the Burma Army on multiple villages in southern Chin State. At least 21 civilians were killed and 28 injured. More than 2,000 people have fled 10 communities and are seeking refuge in the town of Samee.
The CNF has also demanded that the Chin State government, NGOs, civil society organizations, religious groups, and Chin individuals provide assistance to internally displaced people who have suffered as a result of the ongoing civil war. The CNF promised it too would try its best to provide assistance to those affected by the armed conflict.