The Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) said on Thursday that it is by no means certain that it will sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement which the government is aiming to secure by the end of this year.
A spokesman for the KIO, which on Thursday concluded preliminary talks with a government delegation in Myitkyina, said the Kachin army is ready to sit down again at the table for negotiations on 8 October, but that it cannot currently commit to whether it will sign a ceasefire.
“We typically sign a list of agreements at the end of every meeting, but not on the issue of a ceasefire,” said Daung Kha, a spokesperson for the KIO’s Work Committee, who attended Thursday’s talks in the Kachin state capital.
“We will probably discuss the ceasefire issue during next week’s talks, but whether to sign the agreement or not is another question.
“Ideally, we would like to wait until every ethnic group is involved, just as the government had originally planned,” he said, adding that during the preliminary talks in Myitkyina on 2-3 October, the following issues were discussed: Kachin IDPs; demarcation of troops; and various political affairs.
“Whether the government’s effort to achieve a nationwide ceasefire is successful or not depends on how much trust can be built between the government and ethnic armed groups,” said Daung Kha. “But it also depends on the extent of transparency in the political process.
“However, as we all share the same ambition – to bring about peace via political solutions – a ceasefire will come sooner or later.”