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Ethnic armed leaders’ meeting to play key role for Myanmar peace—Kachin SP

October 25, 2013

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KIA FROMTLINE

An ethnic armed leaders’ meeting on the nationwide ceasefire agreement, to be held in Laiza at the headquarters of Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), will play a key role in addressing internal armed conflicts that have lasted more than half a century, said La Maing Gun Ja, an official with the Kachin State Peace Group.

The ethnic armed leaders’ meeting will be held in Laiza from October 30 – November 1. The KIO has arranged to leave for Myitkyina on November 2 and will meet the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC) on November 3, said an official from the Myanmar Peace Center.

“Whether ethnic armed groups attend or sign the nationwide ceasefire deal, the signing ceremony will be on the agenda. How many ethnic groups attend the ceremony has yet to be determined. But all ethnic groups have been invited to be part of the ceremony,” said La Maing Gun Ja.

The UPWC earlier arranged to hold the nationwide ceasefire together with all ethnic armed groups in July, but it failed to negotiate with them. As a result, the nationwide ceasefire deal signing had to be postponed until October. As this month has progressed, both sides are still negotiating the nationwide ceasefire. Therefore, the signing ceremony has been postponed until November.

“We should have a better idea of whether or not the ethnic armed groups will attend the nationwide ceasefire deal signing ceremony soon after the meeting to be held in Laiza. The nationwide ceasefire deal so far looks like it’s in good condition. The Laiza meeting will be of great importance for the Myanmar peace process,” said La Maing Gun Ja.

The Laiza meeting of top ethnic leaders will fulfill a requirement to push the government’s ongoing political dialogue, said a UPWC official.

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