MYANMAR BURMA: UNFC-Ceasefire breakthrough still possible in Hpa-an

EMG – A national ceasefire agreement is still far from being concluded due to the government’s draft accord containing unacceptable provisions for ethnic armed groups.

NCCT meeting second day on November 27 in Chiang Mai
NCCT meeting second day on November 27 in Chiang Mai

Naing Han Tha, the secretary of United Nationalities Federation Council (UNFC), said there were still different views between the government and armed groups over a nationwide ceasefire accord.

“We will meet again in Hpa-an. How can they (government) compromise? How can we compromise? We can guess the solution could be sought during the Hpa-an meeting. We cannot tell now,” said Naing Han Tha.

Naing Han Tha, who also leads the National Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), hinted that progress could be achieved through a series of meetings and by maintaining the already-discussed peace processes.

He added that during a meeting with the NCCT held earlier this month in Myitkyina, Kachin State, the government shared its draft ceasefire accord with armed groups. However, it was difficult to move forward as the draft contained provisions which went beyond the points discussed in the regional and union-level peace talks.

He insisted that coordination would continue.

The Hpa-an meeting is scheduled to take place in mid-December between the Union Peacemaking Work Committee and NCCT which was formed with the ethnic armed groups after the Laiza conference in Kachin State.

The meeting will follow the second conference of the ethnic armed groups due to take place in early December in area under the Karen National Union (KNU).

NCCT members are preparing to submit their own draft ceasefire draft plan containing the position of ethnic armed groups after discussing the 11-point common agreement reached after a meeting of the UNFC held recently in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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