Two Arakan-based armed groups, Democratic Party of Arakan (DPA) and National United Party of Arakan (NUPA), have been accepted by the Burmese government to join the nationwide peace process.
The DPA and NUPA – two of four armed groups in Arakan State – have not participated in peace talks until now, nor have they reached preliminary ceasefire agreements with the government. However, both militias sent delegations to last week’s Arakan National Conference in Kyaukphyu, followed by a visit to Rangoon to informally meet with the government’s Union Peace-making Work Committee (UPWC) on 5 May.
DPA Vice-chairman Nyi Nyi Lwin said the Arakanese delegations and the UPWC reached a three-point agreement in Rangoon, including the proviso that DPA and NUPA will join the peace process.
“[Government chief negotiator] Minister Aung Min has recognised both the groups’ participation in the peace process,” he said. “Our leaders will be granted permission to travel in government-controlled territory and to join in drafting a framework for the political dialogue scheduled to begin within 60 days of a nationwide ceasefire agreement being signed. We will sit in on the dialogue until a national accord is reached.”
Previously, two other Arakanese armed groups, the Arakan Liberation Party and the Arakan Army, agreed to an alliance, but rejected merging with the DPA and NUPA.