« Myanmar’s Peace Process: Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, Borderland Economies, Service Delivery, and other Post-Panglong Concerns » (Part II) by Bobby Anderson, 24/08/2017, Tea Circle (Oxford)
The government of Myanmar possesses the capacity to undertake disarmament and demobilization processes. But what it is still theoretically building with EAOs is the trust necessary to engage in such a process. Despite this, the government is unlikely to go down the well-trod path many other states have travelled via the subcontracting of Disarmament and Demobilization processes to the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and other UN agencies that have expertise in such work. China’s acquiescence, however, matters here: elements of One Belt, One Road require the stability in Myanmar’s border with Yunnan, and this has been amply demonstrated by the involvement of special envoy Sun Guoxiang in the latest Panglong Meeting. It is unlikely that China would involve itself in disarmament and demobilization directly; a process under the auspices, not of the EU or DPKO, but of ASEAN, may be more palatable for them.
The disarmament aspect of DDR is a technically easy, time-bound process that only requires the will of each entity to engage with the other, under third party facilitation. This may involve insurgent entry into cantonments and dual-key weapons storage after a given peace process reaches a certain pre-defined milestone. The weapons initially handed over will likely be constituted in large part by “museum pieces”, while better functioning weaponry is held back in case Panglong 21 breaks down, or for sale. Implicit in such a process is the building up of state police forces in insurgent areas— often made up of ex-insurgents under state command— in a structure resembling BGFs, but more lightly armed.
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