Ethnic rebels discuss nationwide ceasefire in Chiang Mai

Ethnic rebels discuss nationwide ceasefire in Chiang Mai

The Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), made up of representatives from 14 ethnic armed groups, is sitting in Chiang Mai from 26 to 28 November to discuss proposals for a ceasefire after decades of conflict with Burmese government forces.

The three-day summit in northern Thailand comes ahead of talks between the NCCT and the Burmese government next month in Karen state capital Hpa-an.

Pado Saw Kwe Htoo Win, the general-secretary of the Karen National Union (KNU), told DVB that the NCCT on Tuesday discussed a draft of the nationwide ceasefire plan proposed by Naypyidaw and added amendments according to the policies of individual armed groups.

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“We discussed the nationwide ceasefire agreement as proposed by the government and we make amendments as necessary based on our basic principles,” said the KNU general-secretary.

He said the NCCT aimed to reach an agreement between the armed groups regarding a framework for the nationwide ceasefire, as well as an itinerary for future procedures and political dialogue with the government.

The meeting was joined by more than 20 participants, including Gen. Gun Maw Sumlat of the Kachin Independence Organisation; and Hkun Okker, David Takapaw, Abel Tweet and Nai Hongsa of the United Nationalities Federal Council.

Representatives of the Arakan Liberation Party were unable to attend the conference but are expected to join the meeting on Wednesday.

The NCCT was formed by a loose alliance of ethnic armed groups who appointed their representatives at a meeting in KIO headquarters Laiza on 2 November.

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