PHOTO CREDIT MIN HTAY
CREDIT phophtaw news
During a meeting between All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF) leaders and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) this past Tuesday, KIO members revealed they would not be signing a national ceasefire agreement with the Myanmar government any time soon, according to ABSDF news and information officer Major Min Htay.
The two groups met at KIO headquarters in Laiza, Kachin State to discuss their current stances on the nationwide referendums, which have already been signed by a number of ethnic armed groups in Myanmar. The ceasefires are presented and coordinated by the government-formed Union Peacemaking Working Committee (UPWC), which is led by presidential office minister U Aung Min.
While no date has been specified for the next rounds of ceasefire talks, government sources have suggested they will take place the end of September.
The KIO expressed an interest in continuing peace dialogues with the government on national and regional levels, suggesting their refusal to sign a countrywide ceasefire agreement is rooted in their disagreement with the current government’s practices.
The ABSDF, which signed a ceasefire agreement with the UPWC on August 5 of this year, suggested there is a possibility they may not attend the potential September meeting, but that this depended on whether or not other ethnic groups would show up in solidarity. Earlier this year the ABSDF applied to join the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), a multi-party organization which represents the interests of 11 active ethnic groups in Myanmar.
The ABSDF and KIO have been active since 1988 and 1961, respectively. According to Burma News International, the KIO’s military wing Kachin Independence Army (KIA) is the second largest ethnic armed forces group active in Myanmar.