Army demands KIA retreat from some positions: KIO

The army demanded in a meeting with the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) that battalions of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) retreat from their current positions, according to the central committee of the KIO.
 
The February 1 meeting between Lt-General Tun Tun Naung and General N’Ban La, chairman of the KIO in Yunan Province, China, was brokered by the Chinese special envoy for Asian Affairs so that the two sides could discuss moving toward peace. Tun Tun Naung represented Myanmar’s military chief.
 
It was the first face-to-face meeting between the army and the central committee of the KIO, said the announcement by the KIO’s central committee.
 
Though no agreement arose out of the meeting, both sides agreed to continue meeting.
 
The KIO side brought up issues about regional stability, moving toward a reduction in fighting, inviting all parties to build peace and the importance of building a federal state in line with pledges from the Panglong Conference.
 
The army demanded a retreat of KIA bases from the current front line, including the headquarters of No. 14 Battalion
and said they cannot approve some KIA divisions.
 
Colonel Naw Bu, spokesperson of the KIA/KIO, said: “The army said they don’t accept our battalions based in Shan north. I don’t know about it in details as I didn’t attend the meeting.”
 
Leaders of the KIA and KIO did not say at the meeting whether they would attend the upcoming peace meeting, Naw Bu added.
 
No fighting has occurred for the past three days, he said.
 
“The army cut off humanitarian aid for people from the KIA controlled areas a long time ago.”
 
Fighting between the army and the KIA has been underway for about eight months in Tanai, Hugaung, along the area in upper Myitsone and Sumprabum.