11 Oct Myanmar gov't, KIO agree to work together for nationwide ceasefire

Written by Feng Yingqiu / Xinhua Published in Analysis Read 9583 times
The exchanging of agreements between the government and KIO on October 10, 2013. Photo: Nyo Ohn Myint / Facebook The exchanging of agreements between the government and KIO on October 10, 2013. Photo: Nyo Ohn Myint / Facebook

The Myanmar government and the rebel Kachin Independent Organization (KIO) have agreed to work together towards nationwide ceasefire and lay foundation for political dialogue.

After three days of peace talks in Myitgyina, capital of northernmost Kachin state, the two sides reached a seven-point agreement on Thursday, which includes KIO's demand for holding the Ethnic Armed Groups Conference, working to end all armed clashes and the establishment of a Joint Monitoring Committee to de- escalate the military tension and avoid recurrence of the clashes.

Key points of the agreement also cover arrangement for the voluntary return and resettlement of internal displaced persons, reopening of public-used roads within the Kachin State closed due to conflicts, and coordination for an early resumption of next talks.

The government delegation was led by U Aung Min, vice chairman of the government's Central Peace Making Work Committee and minister at the President's Office, while the KIO's was headed by U Sumlut Guam.

"We are working not just towards a just and sustainable peace but towards a new political culture, one built on compromise, mutual respect and understanding," U Aung Min said, adding, "The challenges are complex and are rooted in more than half a century of violence, but I am confident that we are turning the corner."

Only when political dialogue is held, matters related to equal rights, self-administration, federalism, constitution amendment, power sharing and resources sharing can be further touched upon, he emphasized.

U Sumlut Guam also called for effort to strive for expected outcome of domestic peace and emergence of stable and genuine democratic state.

The three-day talks, which was the 9th round since December 2011 after clashes between the two sides broke out in early June of the year, was a follow-up of the May talks in Myitgyina this year.

Besides the presence of representatives of 10 ethnic armed groups at the peace talks, a delegation of five Chinese foreign ministry officials and Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General Vijay Nambiar also attended as observers.

Meanwhile, Myanmar President U Thein Sein, in his monthly regular speech to the nation, called on all stakeholders to strive for achieving lasting domestic peace as early as possible.

He was encouraged by the assurance of all armed groups that they will never secede from the Union of Myanmar.