Next UNFC meeting delayed until January
The next round of meetings of the United Nationalities Federation Council (UNFC), the alliance of Burma’s armed ethnic groups, won’t happen until January 2014. Originally the meeting was supposed to take place in December in territory controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU).
UNFC joint secretary Colonel Khun Okka was quoted by the Daily Eleven newspaper on Thursday as saying the meeting had been delayed and would be held from January 5th to 15th.
A previous meeting involving groups who were part of the UNFC and several other armed groups not part of the UNFC took place in late October at the Kachin Independence Organizaton’s (KIO) Laiza headquarters. The Laiza conference which involved representatives of 17 of Burma’s armed ethnic groups ended with a statement that all but one of the groups attending jointly signed. The declaration outlined the various groups willingness to have a national ceasefire under certain conditions. The Shan State Army (SSA) delegation did not agree to the Laiza declaration for reasons that remain unclear.
The armed rebel groups are also expected to meet with the government’s negotiating team in Karen state shortly after the meeting in the KNU area. This meeting was also originally expected to happen in December but has been postponed till January.