Christian politicians in ethnic minority areas of Myanmar are concerned that renewed fighting there will undermine the peace process in a country where insurgents have waged war for decades.
According to local media reports, fresh fighting between the military and ethnic armies in Rakhine and Shan states has displaced hundreds of people who have fled their homes and taken shelter in monasteries.
Tu Ja, a Catholic politician from Kachin State Democracy Party, said it is difficult to know why the fighting is still ongoing, especially as the country is in a transition from a military-backed government to a new civilian one.
“Fighting must end or it will not bring good results for the peace process. All stakeholders need to implement the national cease-fire agreement,” he told ucanews.com January 6th.
Tu Ja’s party won a seat in the national parliament and three in the state legislative assembly in the November 8th elections. These elections were generally viewed as the country’s freest and fairest in 25 years.
Ever since its independence from British colonial rule in 1948, Myanmar has grappled with wars between the military and ethnic armies fighting for greater autonomy. Christians make up the majority of the population in many of Myanmar’s ethnic-based states.
The outgoing government had drafted a peace deal with eight ethnic armed groups last October but seven groups, including the Kachin Independence Army and the Wa State Army, boycotted it.
A peace conference is scheduled for January 12th and will be led by the current government, with participation from about 700 representatives from the military, government, political parties and armed groups expected to join.
- Pray for Myanmar as it struggles to come to terms with democracy.
- Pray for the peace process in Myanmar, for an end to hostilities in the ethnic-based states and for successful peace talks on January 12th.
- Pray for Christians in Myanmar, who face continued opposition and oppression to their faith. Pray that the church will continue to grow and remain strong in faith and witness.
Source: http://www.ucanews.com, http://www.persecution.org/2016