December 13, 2017

Tatmadaw, ethnic armed groups will meet to ‘build trust, reduce tension’

JMC-U Secretary-1 Dr. Shwe Khar and JMC-U Secretary-2 Colonel Wunna Aung give press conference following Union Level Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC-U) in Yangon. Photo: Phoe Htaung

Union Level Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC-U) Secretary-1 Dr. Shwe Khar said it was decided yesterday to hold regular meetings between the ethnic armed groups who had signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) and Tatmadaw in order to build trust and reduce military tension.
The decision came on the third day of JMC-U’s 12th meeting held yesterday morning at the National Reconciliation and Peace Center (NRPC) on Shweli Road in Yangon.
During the three days of the JMC-U meeting, matters discussed included more civilian participation in the Local Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC-L) formed in Shan and Kayin State, continued formation of Local Civilian Monitors, holding workshops in order to conduct regular meetings to build trust and relationship between force commanders, upgrading the capacities of civilians participating in State Level Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC-S) and JMC-L, reviewing and reassessing Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) and terms of reference (TOR) and reports by assessment and confirmation groups on the killing of Mongpan Township militia leader U Myint Aung.
After yesterday’s meeting, JMC-U Secretary-1 Dr. Shwe Khar and JMC-U Secretary-2 Colonel Wunna Aung met with local and international media to explain the three-day meeting.
“Mainly, as JMC-L was formed, ways of forming related local civilian monitors and when to start forming them were discussed. To increase the strength of the JMC-Ls formed in Kayin State and Shan State, it was decided to increase civilian participation to four in each JMC-L. ToR and SoP were drawn two years ago and in order to review it, it was decided to submit to the 13th meeting to discuss forming a review team”, said Dr Shwe Khar.
Dr. Shwe Khar added that “It is important to build trust and relationship between the two groups during the peace building period. The JMC committee members from two armed groups meet regularly once a month or bi-monthly, but military commanders who are not JMC committee members could not meet. We decided for the military commanders from both sides to meet regularly.”
In meeting with the media, it was mentioned that workshops with foreign experts were being conducted regarding deployingforces to avoid confrontations. Ethnic armed groups and the Tatmadaw would discuss this later, they said.
JMC-U Secretary-2 Colonel Wunna Aung said “A report by the assessment and confirmation group on the killing of Monpan Township militia leader U Myint Aung confirmed that he was killed by Sai Tint, but in the meeting, the RCSS (Restoration Council of Shan State) said there is no Sai Tint in the RCSS. Therefore, a case had been filed on Sai Tint by Myanmar Police Force and action will be taken accordingly.”
The day’s meeting was attended by JMC-U member government representatives, representatives of NCA signatory ethnic armed groups and civilian representatives.

 

By Ye Khaung Nyunt

 

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