Ethnic ‘senior delegates’ prepare for Rangoon talks

Ethnic ‘senior delegates’ prepare for Rangoon talks

Representatives of the ethnic armed groups’ negotiating team are due to meet for informal talks with their government counterparts in Rangoon next week.

The Senior Delegation for Nationwide Ceasefire Negotiation – a body that was formed this month out of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) ethnic bloc – has said it will send some of its 15 members to meet with the government’s Union Peace-Making Work Committee (UPWC).

They aim to set out the parameters for future discussions regarding amendments to the draft text of the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA).

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An initial draft NCA was unveiled on 31 March after drawn-out negotiations between the NCCT and UPWC. At a recent meeting at Karen State’s Law Khee La, ethnic army leaders concluded a list of 15 amendments to this draft.

Hla Maung Shwe of the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC), the organisation that has brokered talks between the two sides, told DVB: “Our technical team has briefed [the UPWC] about the outcomes from the Law Khee Law summit, and we know that the committee members are considering their response.”

On whether the government is willing to negotiate on the amendments, Hla Maung Shwe said: “The union government proposed the peace talks with the armed groups in the first place, because they wish to bring about peace in the country.

“They compromised a lot in the talks so it is not likely that they will abandon their will for peace, but it is still too early to know what kind of procedures they plan,” he said.

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