#Myanmar #Ceasefire #Draft #historic and #significant
The talks have been complicated by renewed fighting in the Kokang region of Shan state, where ethnic Chinese rebels have engaged in fierce battles with Myanmar security forces since February. The Kokang rebels are not part of the peace negotiations. A deal has also remained exlusive with ethnic rebels in Kachin state.
The Union Peacemaking Working Committee (UPWC) and the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) reached an agreement yesterday on a draft of the nationwide ceasefire deal after a series of meetings.
The agreement came shortly after the seventh round of ceasefire talks between the UPWC and NCCT. The parties discussed all points included in chapters 1 to 7 from March 17-22 in Yangon. They resumed talks on March 30 to discuss the remaining points after a seven-day break.
Hla Maung Shwe from the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC) said at a press conference: “Both sides have agreed to all points in the ceasefire deal draft. Leaders from the two sides will meet again at 10am tomorrow. We will finalise all the agreed points. Leaders will sign a preliminary agreement after seeing the meeting documents.”
A coalition of ethnic militias formed the NCCT in early November 2013. The NCCT initiated ceasefire talks with the UPWC on November 4 and 5 that same year. There have been seven official meetings and a series of informal talks to date.
NCCT leader Naing Han Thar said: “There were many blockages at the beginning of the talks. The NCCT and the UPWC have reached an agreement on the ceasefire deal draft thanks to our patience and mutual understanding. But we need to further discuss some points. The NCCT alone has no authority to ink the nationwide ceasefire pact. We need to hold discussions on the agreed points by inviting leaders from all groups. These points are to be reported to the leaders at the meeting. Then, the leaders are to make decision on the agreed points.”
The NCCT plans to hold an armed national races group summit in April to seek the approval of ethnic minority leaders. However, the NCCT has yet to secure a venue for the summit, according to the NCCT.
Speaker of the Union parliament Thura Shwe Mann sent a congratulatory message to the negotiating parties in honour of yesterday’s talks. cr.EMG
The United Nations today praised a draft ceasefire deal aimed at ending Myanmar’s decades of civil war, hailing the text agreed between the government and an array of ethnic armed groups as “historic and significant”. The UN, which has acted as an observer to months of peace negotiations, said the tentative deal was a “milestone” for Myanmar, after the country’s president signed the draft national ceasefire with armed rebel groups today. “For the government of Myanmar and 16 Ethnic Armed Groups to reach a ceasefire agreement after more than sixty years of conflict is a historic and significant achievement,” it said in a statement on behalf of UN Special Adviser Vijay Nambiar. A full agreement can only be signed after a conference of the ethnic armed groups for which no date has yet been set. Myanmar’s quasi-civilian regime has set nationwide peace as a key goal of its reforms ahead of crucial elections expected in November. http://yangon.sites.unicnetwork.org/2015/03/31/statement-on-behalf-of-special-adviser-vijay-nambiar-2/ photocr. Nyo Ohn Myint