Senior peace negotiators say they have reached agreement on several outstanding points at the latest round of ceasefire talks in Rangoon.
Dr Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong, a representative of the ethnic group’s Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), told DVB at the end of the two-day talks on 23 December that: “We and the government delegates have managed to reach a compromise on the majority of the remaining points for a single-text draft of a nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA).”
He could not, however, provide details of which points had been agreed and which remain outstanding.
“As for international monitors, there has been a suggestion to include three more countries on top of the UN, China and an ASEAN member, previously agreed by both sides. The UPWC said they will get back to us about this,” he said.
Chin National Front leader Salai Liam Hmung Sakhong said the NCCT had suggested meeting for talks with the government’s Union Peace-making Work Committee (UPWC) delegates again next month to discuss measures that would prevent further hostilities between ethnic armed groups and Burmese government forces. He said 15-16 January had been penciled in as dates for the next meeting.
“We suggested a meeting be held in Myitkyina to prevent more incidents like the boot camp shelling in Laiza, but the UPWC proposed holding talks in Rangoon. We await their response on this issue too,” he said.
Hla Maung Shwe, a senior advisor for the Myanmar Peace Centre, which has brokered successive rounds of peace talks, said at a press conference that he was confident both sides would sign an NCA this coming Union Day, 12 February, a date that marks the anniversary of the signing of the Panglong Agreement in 1947.