Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mon National Defense Army reunites with New Mon State Party

Wednesday, 12 January 2011 13:42

Sangkhlaburi (Mizzima)––The Mon National Defense Army (MNDA), a breakaway faction of the New Mon State Party (NMSP), has rejoined the NMSP, according to NMSP officers.

More than 30 MNDA troops, carrying their weapons, including rocket propelled grenades, 60 mm mortars, AK 47s, and 9mm pistols, rejoined their former comrades in early January, the NMSP said in a press conference on Tuesday on the Thai-Burmese border.

In early January 2009, 100 troops led by Major Kyalunhtaw separated from the NMSP.

The soldiers are being accepted back as ‘former colleagues’, said NMSP central executive committee member Naing Tala Nyi in the press conference. The MNDA troops will be re-appointed in the Mon National Liberation Army, the military wing of the NMSP.

The MNDA is based in Ye Township in Mon State.

‘On September 1, 2010, we heard that the cease-fire agreement between the junta and the NMSP was broken. So, we reviewed the situation and decided to rejoin with our parent-party’, said MNDA leader Major Kyalunhtaw said. The NMSP has rejected the junta’s Border Guard Force plan.

Since the cease-fire agreement was broken, the NMSP has been working to reinforce its army, according to sources close to the party.

In 1958, Prime Minister U Nu’s government tried to make peace overtures to the Mon People’s Front and invited the group to talk in Parliament. More than 1,000 troops of the Mon People’s Front laid down their arms and returned to the legal fold. But, Nai Shwe Kyin, a central executive committee member of the Mon People’s Front did not accept the offer and formed the New Mon State Party on July 20, 1958.

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