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Further negotiation on signing draft ceasefire accord expected between Myanmar gov't, ethnic armed groups

By Feng Yingqiu (Xinhua)    12:18, June 11, 2015

YANGON, June 11-- Further negotiation between Myanmar government and ethnic armed groups on formal signing of a draft nationwide ceasefire accord (NCA) is being expected as a working group of the Myanmar Peace Center is heading for Thailand's Chiangmai on Thursday to meet a 15-member high level special coordination team newly formed at an eight-day ethnic summit conference which concluded in Law Khee Lar, Kayin state Tuesday.

The Law Khee Lar conference decided not to sign the NCA until further amendment and all armed groups be included in the signing process.

Ethnic representatives are expected to send the amended draft back to the government for further negotiation.

The summit was able to obtain suggestions over the draft proposal for political dialogue prepared by the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) that initiated the peace negotiation with the government, vowing to cooperate with the newly assigned coordination team for further deal with the government.

The 15-member special coordination team is led by Naw Zipporah Sein, vice chairman of Karen National Union (KNU), and involved members from Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and Chin National Front (CNF).

The draft NCA was preliminarily signed between the government's Union Peace-Making Work Committee (UPWC) and the ethnic groups' Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) at the end of March after conclusion of more than one year's negotiation.

The government has indicated readiness to complete the formal signing over the draft NCA as soon as possible once it is adopted by the Law Khee Lar ethnic summit conference, attended by armed groups including Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and KNU as well as observers from the United Nationsand China, respectively represented by Vijay Nambiar, Special Envoy of United Nations (UN), and Sun Guoxiang, Special Envoy of China on Asian Affairs.

The Law Khee Lar conference, sponsored by ethnic armed groups' NCCT, is a follow-up of a six-day summit of ethnic armed groups, sponsored by the United Wa State Army (UWSA) in Panghsang, the self-administered zone of the Wa ethnic group in northern Shan state, in early May.

The peace process began in November 2013 when UPWC and NCCT met in Myitgyina, Kachin state's capital, for the very first time for the nationwide ceasefire talks, while the final round, which was the 7th, was held in Yangon in March.

Ever since U Thein Sein's government took office in March 2011, it has vigorously pushed the process of national reconciliation, having realized ceasefire with over a dozen ethnic armed groups individually. It has now moved to a nationwide ceasefire and will then proceed to political dialogue for lasting peace in the country.


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Jin Chen,Bianji)

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