August 19, 2016

A two-way approach to sustainable peace

Myanmar’s peace process has been fraught since the outset. Some stakeholders wanted to begin with political dialogue and move onto a ceasefire, while others preferred to start with a ceasefire before initiating political dialogue.
Since the peace process ended up following the former approach, some stakeholders have not been willing to sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement. As a result, fighting continues in some parts of the country. The ceasefire is not truly nationwide.
The current fighting has its roots in political issues that have not been resolved through political dialogue, and as a result, doubts still linger among stakeholders. Nevertheless, peace is essential, not only for internally displaced persons in conflict zones, but also for national development.
Therefore, armed ethnic groups that have not yet signed the truce should be given a chance to participate in political dialogue when the scheduled it begins, even before they have signed the ceasefire agreement. Only then will the current peace process be a two-way, inclusive process that can produce sustainable peace.
After adopting this approach to peace, all stakeholders should show gestures of peace toward each other.


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