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China Pressures EAOs to Withdraw Statement Supporting ICJ Case Against Burma

The statement of three members of Northern Alliance released on Nov. 28, 2019.

The Chinese government is reportedly pressuring three members of the Northern Alliance of ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) to withdraw their endorsement of Gambia’s case against Burma at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Chinese officials visited Mongla, the headquarters of the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA)—located on the border of China and eastern Shan State—on December 5, an inside source told KNG. The individual said that the officials met with members of the Arakan Army (AA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA).

“They told leaders of the three members of the northern brotherhood to withdraw their supportive statement and to release a statement similar to the [one released by the] UWSA,” an official within the Northern Alliance told KNG on the condition of anonymity.

The UWSA—United Wa State Army—and the NDAA released a statement on November 30 saying that they stood with the Burmese state in the face of the genocide allegations, and condemned international intervention on the country’s issues.

Two days earlier, on November 28, the AA, MNDAA, and TNLA released their own statement backing the prosecution of Burma at the ICJ for the crime of genocide against the Rohingya people of Rakhine State. Representatives of the armed groups have said that the Burmese military is guilty of similar war crimes throughout the country.

The AA, MNDAA, TNLA, UWSA, and NDAA are all members of the Federal Political Negotiations Consultative Committee, a negotiating bloc.

The ICJ hearings are set to take place from December 10-12 in The Hague, Netherlands. Heading the delegation from Burma is State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, to defend the Burmese state against the genocide allegations surrounding the expulsion of more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims. The military campaign against the Rohingya in Rakhine State also included well-documented systematic massacres and widespread sexual violence.

Before leaving for the Netherlands, Aung San Suu Kyi met with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi in Naypyidaw on December 7.

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