July 04, 2017

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Peace in progress — Government and ethnic armed groups prepare for ceasefire signing

Pictured left is U Aung Min, Vice-Chairman of the Union Peace-making Work Committee, and right is U Soe Thane, Union Minister at the President Office, talk to civil society organizations. Photo: MNA
Pictured left is U Aung Min, Vice-Chairman of the Union Peace-making Work Committee, and right is U Soe Thane, Union Minister at the President Office, talk to civil society organizations. Photo: MNA

The Government of Myanmar and ethnic armed groups agreed to form a joint committee to prepare for the signing of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement during a meeting on Sunday in Yangon.
Both sides also reached an agreement in principle to allow additional ethnic armed groups, which have not yet signed the actual agreement, to attend the signing ceremony, which is slated to be inked during the first week of October.
A date for the signing will be discussed among ethnic armed groups during a three-day meeting from 28-30 September in the Thai city of Chaing Mai.
U Aung Min, Vice-Chairman of the Union Peace-making Work Committee, clarified the process of holding political dialogue after the peace deal is signed to civil society organisations Sunday at Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC). He explained that a joint implementation coordination meeting will be held within two weeks after the NCA is signed and requires a union peace-making joint committee to be formed in the 15 days that follow.
The spokesperson representing the government has urged civil society groups to participate in the peace making process and stressed the importance of signing the ceasefire in order to participate in political dialogue.
The government is committed to building a federalist system, following the agreements of the nationwide ceasefire deal, he said.
During the meeting, UPWC was led by U Aung Min and UPWC member U Khin Zaw Oo, while the ethnic armed groups were represented by personnel from the Pa-O National Liberation Organisation, the Arakan Liberation Party, the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA), Kayin National Union, the National Democratic Alliance Army, KNU/KNLA-PC and the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front.
The Chin National Front and the Restoration Council of Shan State did not participate in the meeting, however representatives from the group will be part of the signing ceremony committee, according to MPC.
The government invited Wa and Mongla groups on 12 September to sign the nationwide ceasefire accord, The two ethnic armed groups from Wa Special Region-2 and Mongla Special Region-4 were not among the 15 armed groups that participated in the last series of peace talks with the government.—Myat Thandar Maung

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