22 Jan Negotiators say Myanmar’s Union Day peace deal unlikely

Written by Phanida Published in Myanmar Read 2387 times
Peace talks in Chiang Mai on January 21, 2015. Photo: Aung Moe Myint
Members of the Myanmar Peace Centre and the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team meeting in Chiang Mai on January 21, 2015. Photo: Aung Moe Myint

Prospects for the proposed signing of a ceasefire agreement between the government and ethnic armed groups on Union Day look dim, according to peace negotiators who met in Chiang Mai, Thailand on January 21.

After the peace talks in Chiang Mai on January 21, members of the Myanmar Peace Centre and the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team ethnic alliance told Mizzima they were skeptical that all parties would be in agreement by February 12.

Padoh Kwal Win Htoo, a member of the NCCT, said: "We want to sign the peace agreement on the scheduled date. But some issues remain unsolved despite a marathon discussion that began in 2013."

If the peace agreement is acceptable for all ethnic groups, the Kachin Independence Army is likely to sign the peace deal, said Padoh Kwal Win Htoo. Although the KIA has not been involved in the negotiations, its political wing, the Kachin Independence Organisation, has been taking part.

He said the meeting on January 21 agreed to prevent more military clashes such as those seen in Laiza, Kachin State, hold further discussions, and form a joint monitoring committee to ensure a temporary ceasefire deal.

The KIA has recently been involved in heavy military clashes with government soldiers in Hpakant in Kachin State, one of many sporadic military encounters that have been going on during the prolonged ceasefire negotiations.

U Nyo Ohn Myint from the MPC said it will be hard to sign a peace deal on Union Day, although they had just had agreed to holding a seventh round of discussions, but have yet to fix a date.

On January 5, President U Thein Sein called on the 12 ethnic armed groups whose representatives attended the Grand Military Review ceremony to sign the long-debated ceasefire agreement on Union Day.

Last modified on Thursday, 22 January 2015 13:34