A positive statement for Myanmar’s peace process

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Three armed ethnic groups under the Northern Alliance issued a statement after meeting with the government’s peace negotiators in Kunming, China, on December 12.They said they will cooperate with the government to move the peace process forward, despite not signing the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA).

 It is the good  news for all of Myanmar citizens,who are willingly calling for  nationwide peace, and it’ll be the greeting news for happy new year 2019. Myanmar is now one of the poorest countries because of long-term conflicts between the Tatmadaw(military) and the different armed ethnic groups.

Most of the armed ethnic groups have already signed the NCA apart from the  KIA,the United Wa State Army,Shan State Progressive Party(SSPP)/ Shan State Army-North (SSA-N), Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) and the three groups under the Northern Alliance. Three armed ethnic groups under the Nothern Alliance are The Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the Arakan Army (AA).

The Lahu Democratic Union and the New Mon State Party joined the ceasefire and signed the agreement on 13 February 2018.

“We wish to find a solution with the government and Tatmadaw (military) to the current armed conflict and political issues through dialogue,” the alliance statement said. “At the urging of the FPNCC (Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee) and Chinese mediators, our three groups continued meeting with the peace commission on taking part in the peace process.”

The alliance called for a halt to military activity in the areas they control as part of trust-building measures so that peace can be achieved.

“We sincerely hope the Tatmadaw will try to end the fighting. We will continue to participate in the political framework for national reconciliation and peace,” it said.

Government spokesperson U Zaw Htay welcomed the announcement and he said, “I believe that local people in northern Shan State will welcome the move. May all people continue to participate in national reconciliation,”

The government and military have been urging the alliance to give up armed struggle and participate in the peace process by signing the NCA since 2016.

Representatives of the alliance attended national peace talks in July as observers and met with senior military leader Vice Senior General Soe Win and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

The alliance held talks with the government and military in September and October.

“The alliance has been trying to issue such a statement since 2016 without success. Now they have done it. It is constructive,” Peace Commission adviser U Hla Maung Shwe said.

Ref: The Myanmar Times

Photos:MOI/MNI

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