The remaining five ethnic armed groups who are signatories to tomorrow’s ceasefire accord have been removed from Burma’s official list of unlawful associations and terrorist groups, state media reported on Wednesday.
The government announcement comes after it de-listed the Karen National Union (KNU), Shan State Army-South, and All Burma Students Democratic Front a day earlier.
“Another five ethnic organisations who have committed to sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement have been removed from the government’s list of unlawful associations and terrorist groups,” reported state-run Global New Light of Myanmar on Wednesday morning.
The five armed groups who ceased to remain outlaws in the eyes of the government are: KNU-KNLA Peace Council; Chin National Front; Democratic Karen Benevolent Army; Pa-O National Liberation Organisation; and Arakan Liberation Party.
All eight signatories to the peace accord, scheduled to be signed with President Thein Sein tomorrow, have now been legalised in time for the ceremony, which will be witnessed by UN and other international dignitaries in the Burmese capital.
Non-signatories – including the two largest ethnic militias in the country, the United Wa State Army and the Kachin Independence Army – remain outlawed.
Meanwhile, the KNU’s armed wing, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), issued a statement on Wednesday morning, laying down the terms under which it has agreed a ceasefire.
Its central demand is that the Burmese armed forces, or Tatmadaw, does not increase its troop strength nor send more weapons and ammunition into KNLA territory. It also said that any Tatmadaw maneuvers within its territory must be coordinated with and approved by KNU/KNLA commanders.
The Karen group also stated that it “shall never accept the transformation of the KNLA into the Border Guard Force or Civil Police, but shall remain as the Karen National Liberation Army.”