August 20, 2016

Further steps are important in the peace process

Myint Win Thein

Successive governments in Myanmar held peace talks with ethnic armed groups and reached various agreements. They hailed the agreements as their successes. However, none of them were historic as fighting still continued despite the agreements and new governments had to deal with the same issue in the same way as the previous government did.
The union government has also hailed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement between the government and some ethnic armed groups as one of the achievements of the government. For the NCA to be a historic milestone, the current government said it is laying a sound foundation for the next government as part of its efforts to taking further steps to ensure a long lasting peace.
In the past, peace deals with armed ethnic groups were in fact temporary arrangements that contributed nothing to long lasting peace. This was because further steps taken in the process diluted the success of the former.
Therefore it is important that none of the further steps to be taken in the future dilutes the success of the former.
Further steps should strengthen the former and are more important. Only then will the NCA be a historic deal recognised by future generations. All stakeholders in the peace process should be cautious with their steps as thoughtless action can derail the process.


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