United Wa State Party (UWSP/UWSA)

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United Wa State Party/United Wa State Army (UWSP/UWSA)

uwsa


SUMMARY

Established: 17 April, 1989

Headquarters: Pangkham (Phangsang)

Active Territories: Panghsang, Mongmao, Pangwai, Nahphan, Mongpauk, Mongton, Mong Hsat and Tachileik.

Strength: Over 30,000

Chairman – Bao Youxiang

Commander-in-Chief – Bao Junpiang (aka) U Bao Ai Chan

General Secretary – U Bao Ai Kham

The United Wa State Party/United Wa State Army (UWSP/UWSA) was formed after splitting from the Communist Party of Burma (CPB). It reached a ceasefire agreement with the military government on May 18th, 1989. The group maintains close relations with the Chinese government and even uses the Chinese language. The UWSA rejected pressure from the Tatmadaw (military) to transform itself into a border guard force (BGF), but no fighting occurred between the two sides. Four of the six townships in the Wa Self-administered Region, established in the 2008 constitution, remain under the UWSP/UWSA control.

The group signed ceasefire agreements at the state and union levels with the U Thein Sein administration in September and December 2011, but was not among those that signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). In January 2016, the UWSP participated in the Union Peace Conference convened before the end of U Thein Sein’s term in office. It called for the recognition of Wa as a self-governing state.

During the NLD government, the group participated in the first-ever 21st Century Panglong – Union Peace Conference along with members of the Federal Political Negotiation Consultative Committee (FPNCC). The FPNCC, led by the UWSP, was interested in a different path from the NCA. It held some meetings with the Tatmadaw. The FPNCC called on the Chinese government to play a greater role in the Myanmar peace process.

On November 16th, 2020 UWSA Chair Bao You Xiang congratulated the NLD after the results of the general elections were announced. He wished the NLD government success pursuing its path of national reconciliation and economic development.

However, he remained silent about the February 2021 military coup. Following the military coup, there were meetings between the UWSA leader and representatives of the State Administration Council (SAC)’s led by Lieutenant General Yar Pyae.

Eight Wa civil society organisations (CSOs) and the Wa people sent an open letter to the UWSA urging the group to stand with the people of Myanmar and reject the military coup, but the UWSA leaders have remained silent to date.

On April 5th, 2022, clashes between the UWSA and the Restoration Council of Shan State/ Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) occurred in Monehta region, Mongton Township, Mong Hsat District, in eastern Shan State, resulting in heavy casualties on both sides.

In April 2022, on the 33rd anniversary of the establishment of peace in the Wa region, the Ministry of Defense of the National Unity Government (NUG) sent a message, praying that Wa leaders and Wa people may continue to work together to strengthen the peaceful coexistence and socio-economic development in Wa State. At the same time, it also encouraged Wa leaders to play a visionary role in laying the foundations of a new federal democratic union in the future.

Following the 2021 military coup, the UWSP/UWSA, which has been engaging in talks with the military council, has demanded that the Wa State be designated as an autonomous ethnic state, and the military junta agreed in principle to this demand.

The FPNCC meeting held on 15-16 March 2023, led by the UWSP/UWSA, issued a seven-point statement welcoming, among other things, Chinese intervention to resolve the conflict in Myanmar and cooperation with the Chinese government for stability along the border areas.

Clashes with the Myanmar army  

No clashes with the Myanmar army yet

Clashes with EROs In April 2022, clashes broke out between the UWSA and the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA).

 

Former Ceasefire Agreement

May 18, 1989

Fighting after Ceasefire
None
Once tensions with the Tamadaw, following
which UWSA occupied and NDAA posts in 2016
Official Representative Team – Unknown

CEC members
Chairman – Bao Yu Chan
Vice Chairman – Bao Yuyi
VIce Chairman – Shao Min Lian
Chief of Military Staff – Bao Yu Chan
Deputy Chief of Military Staff – Kyauk Kyone Tan
Spokesperson – U Aung Myint @ Le Kyu Lee
Communications Officer – Kyauk Kw Ann
Deputy Communication Officer – Sam Khun
Chief of Justice – Lee Kyauk Kaw
Finance and Business Officer
– Bao Yu Lian

Political Wing
United Wa State Party (UWSP)
Governmental Reference to Territory –
(Northern) Shan State
Special Region 2
Armed Group – United Wa State Army (USWA)

Alliances
FPNCC


Ceasefire and Peace Process
1st EAO signing a ceasefire agreement
Step 1 – State – level agreement
(6 September 2011)
Step 2 – Union – level agreement
(25 December 2011)


Official delegation team

unknown


Liaison offices

1. Lashio
2. Tang Yang
3. Keng Tung
4. Tachileik
5. Taung Gyi
6. Mandalay
7. Yangon


 


Meetings

 #  Date  Location  Armed Group Rep  Govt Rep  Details
1 06/09/2011 Kengtung Bao Youliang Aung Thaung New State level ceasefire agreement
Other govt delegates: Thein Zaw
2 01/10/2011 Lashio Xiao Ming Liang Aung Thaung Union level meeting
The UWSP agreed not to secede from the Union. Discussions included: the reopening of education, health and liaison offices, reassignment of staff, drug eradication in cooperation with the government, implementing measures for border region development, arrangements made for economic-driven industries.
Related agreements were signed.
3 26/12/2011 Pangsang Xiao Ming Liang Aung Thaung Union Level 6 Point agreement
Govt rep Aung Thaung urged the UWSP to take part in the upcoming by-elections expected to take place early next year.
4 09/05/2012 Pangsang unknown unknown Regime officials visit Panghsang, Shan state for meeting with UWSA officials.
5 17/08/2012 Wiangkao and Pangsang Xiao Ming Liang Deputy Border Affairs minister Maj Gen Zaw Win Official visits by Maj Gen Zaw Win to the Wa area:
16 August – Wiangkao, inspects Songpu hydropower plant
17 August – Panghsang, meets Xiao Minliang, Bao Youri, Zhao Zhongdang, Bao Youliang, Ai Lone, Zhao Guo-ang, U Aung Myint, Bo Laikham and others. Delivers K 30 million allowances and K 66 million for rice.
Other UWSA delegates: Bao Youri, Zhao Zhongdang, Bao Youliang, Ai Lone, Zhao Guo-ang, U Aung Myint, Bo Laikham and others
6 06/10/2012 Kengtung Xiao Ming Liang Myanmar army chief vice-SNR Gen. Min Aung Hlaing Both sides agreed to cooperate in eradicating drugs.
7 16/11/2012 Pangsang Xiao Ming Liang Myanmar armed forces Northeastern Region commander Brig-Gen Aung Soe Brig-Gen Aung Soe met with Vice-Chairman Xiao Mingliang for discussions. The brigadier-general also visited a facility of the UWSA’s Hongbang Company.
8 04/12/2012 Pangsang Xiao Ming Liang Aung Min Union level meeting
The discussions centered on economic and development programs.
UWSA officials were invited to Nay Pyi Taw to study Hluttaw sessions. The govt delegation presented cash assistance of over K 290 million for regional development, as well as layers and broilers. They also visited Mongmaw region and Mongmawkonmyintaung tea plantation
Other govt delegates included: Thein Zaw, U Soe Thein, President’s Office Minister; Lt-Gen Thein Htay, Border Affairs Minister; Sao Aung Myat, Shan state Chief Minister; Col Aung Thu, Shan State Security and Border Affairs Minister; Maj-Gen Than Tun Oo, Commander, Triangle Region Command, Maj Gen Aung Soe the commander of Northeastern Region Command.
9 20/03/2013 Lashio, Shan State Xiao Hsarm Khun Aung Min At the Shan-Kayah Trust-building for Peace Conference the Wa representative Xiao Hsarm Khun was informed by U Aung Min, UPWC Vice-Chairman # 2, that the Wa call for a separate statehood could be decided only by the Union legislature.
10 12/07/2013 Kengtung UWSA UPWC 1) Follow the agreements that emerge from the discussion.
2) Maintain the already achieved mutual understandings, trust and fine tradition of peace and continue making cooperation for reaching eternal peace through constructive discussions.
3) Make transparent coordination as quickly as possible based on the constructive ways at a time when there emerge the military issues between Tatmadaw and UWSA.
4) Not to allow seceding “Wa” Special Region (2) from the State at any rate as “Wa” Special Region (2) is an integral part of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and to utilize the capabilities of “Wa” Special Region (2) for the perpetuation of sovereignty and territory of the State.
5) Make mutual cooperation between the Union government and “Wa” Special Region ( 2 ) in the development of the region and eradication of narcotic drugs.
11 03/09/2013 Kengtung UWSA UPWC/ Shwe Mann (Informal)
12 04/10/2013 Pang Sang Xao Ming Liang (vice-chairman) U Thein Zaw (MP) and Lt. Gen Thein Htay (deputy minister of border affairs) (Informal meeting) U Thein Zaw proposed 9 points in the meeting. In the proposed points, census issue, ID card issue, local development, permit government servants to work in Wa territory are included in discussion. U Thein Zaw also discussed with Xai Minliang about to attend the nationwide ceasefire signing ceremony.
13 01/03/2014 Naypyitaw Pao Yu Yi, Zhao Zhongdan, U Sam Lu (Khun Sam Lu) and Sao Khun Hseng U Thein Sein (Informal meeting) Leaders from UWSA, NDAA and SSPP met president Thein Sein after attending the census campaign in Naypyitaw.
14 03/03/2014 Naypyitaw vice-chairman Pao Yu Yi, C-in-C Zhao Zhongdan Thura U Shwe Mann (Informal meeting) 3 Delegates from UWSA led by deputy chairman Pao Yu Yi and commander in chief Zhao Zhongdan met Thura U Shwe Mann in Naypyitaw when they visited union parliament.
15 06/04/2014 Northern Shan Head Quarter office UWSA Min Aung Hlaing (Commander in Chief) (Informal meeting) Gen Min Aung Hlaing met UWSA for the first time in his term of Commander in Chief: state media reported on Sunday.
16 26/04/2014 Pan San KNU leaders – Mutu saypoe,saw yawjarkhin, saw eyezatt, saw htoo2 lay, saw tarmulay UWSA leader- deputy chairman ShaoMinLian, deputy general secretary- PaukYuYi, and officials (Informal meeting) Leaders of the Karen National Union (KNU) and the United Wa State Army (UWSA) say they are concerned that an escalation of fighting in Kachin State could reverse the ongoing peace process between the government and ethnic armed groups.
17 25/08/2014 Naypyitaw NDAA-ESS, U San Pay (Vice chairman) , UWSA – Shao Min Lian (Vice Chairman), SSPP/SSA Gen Khae Taine vice chairman President Thein Sein Informal meeting
18 25/08/2014 Naypyitaw NDAA-ESS, U San Pay (Vice chairman) , UWSA – Shao Min Lian (Vice Chairman) Commander In Chief, Min Aung Hlaing Informal meeting
19 26/08/2014 Naypyitaw NDAA-ESS, U San Pay (Vice chairman) , UWSA – Shao Min Lian (Vice Chairman), SSPP/SSA Gen Khur Tai vice chairman Parliament Speaker Shwe Mann, Khin Aung Myint Informal meeting

Developments

Agreed points:

Military

  • continue holding talks to cooperate on defence forces of the State for security and defence of the State as one as it agrees not to disintegrate the State and secede from the State at all

Socio-economic

  • agreed to adopt short-term and long-term socio-economic development plans
  • Union government agreed to help increase opportunities for national races youths in “Wa” Special Region
  • to pursue education with the mindset to develop their insights, to equip them with vocational education and to realize human resources development.
  • Union government agreed to cooperate in developing healthcare initiatives in Wa” Special Region (2), these initiatives include: treatment, prevention and education

Political

  • continue negotiating matters related to enabling representatives in townships of “Wa” Special Region (2) take seats in each Hluttaw of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar – encouraging proper representation of Wa in their respective areas

Ongoing issues:


Partnerships

Maintains close ties with NDAA


Business concessions:

Enterprises: Hongbang Company (founded in 1998) is a Wa owned conglomerate involved in construction, agriculture, gems and minerals, petroleum, electronics and communications, distilleries and department stores. The Hong Pang Group is based in Panghsang with offices also in Yangon, Mandalay, Lashio, Tachilek and Mawlamyine.

Ho Chun Ting, aka Aik Haw aka Hsiao Haw, the son-in-law of Bao You-Xiang, is the principal owner and managing director of Yangon Airways and chairman of Tetkham Co Ltd that runs a chain of hotels.


Statements

17 December 2020 – UWSA released a statement regarding prevention and control of covid 19

27  November 2019 – UWSA released a statement regarding Gambia’s case against Myanmar in the ICJ

22 December 2018 – UWSA’s announcement

6 May 2015 – EAOs released a statement after Panghsang meeting

Oct 5, 2014 – UWSA and NDAA released a joint statement

Jun 2, 2014 – Who Are the Wa : The article written by Bertil Lintner published

Jan 10, 2013 – NDAA, UWSA and SSPP/SSA issued a joint statement for the govt to stop its offensive against the KIO/KIA and start political dialogue

Aug 02, 2012 – SSA-S + UWSA Wa and Shan army commanders say tensions between the two armies have subsided following a “misunderstanding” that caused a face-off opposite Chiang Mai’s Fang District in northeast Myanmar.

Jun 16, 2011 – UWSP‘s statement

concerning ongoing clashes between the Myanmar military with the RCSS/SSA, KIA and KNLA.


Reference: Deciphering Myanmar’s Peace Process – A Reference Guide (2022 – 2023)


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