The next round of ceasefire negotiations between ethnic groups and the Burmese government will take place in Rangoon on 16 March and will include discussions aimed at defusing the ongoing conflict in the Kokang region, according to Gen. Gun Maw, a senior member of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), the ethnic bloc’s delegated negotiators.
Speaking to reporters in Chiang Mai on Sunday following three days of talks with other NCCT representatives, Gun Maw, who is also vice chief of staff of the Kachin Independence Army, said “We are setting out a separate agenda within the talks to reduce the fighting [in Kokang] in the short term, with a further view to putting a complete end to the hostilities.”
Hla Maung Shwe, a representative of the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC) who attended Sunday’s NCCT meeting, said both sides had reached agreements on conditions and dates for the next round of ceasefire negotiations.
“Representatives from both sides agreed on a location, date and agenda for the next round of talks. They will take place on 16 March in Rangoon,” he said. “Currently, eight outstanding points remain to be discussed within the nationwide ceasefire agreement draft. The NCCT delegates have passed on their opinions about these points via us to give to the UPWC [Union Peace-making Work Committee, Burmese government negotiators].”
He said that the NCCT and MPC will continue negotiations on suggestions to invite observers to the talks in Rangoon, which may include representatives of other ethnic armed groups, the Chinese government and United Nations.
Ceasefire talks between the UPWC and NCCT broke down in September last year.