A negotiating committee representing seven ethnic armed groups in northern Burma says it intends to attend next week’s Union Peace Conference in Naypyidaw, which is being organised by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi’s government.
The Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee releases a statement reiterating the ethnic armed coalition’s intention to join the upcoming third iteration of the government-led 21st Century Panglong Conference, if the bloc is officially invited to do so.
A member of the government’s Peace Commission says the United Wa State Army and the National Democratic Alliance Army, the latter also known as the “Mongla group,” accept the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, an accord that the two influential ethnic armed groups had previously spurned.
Insofar as the Union government’s agenda for ethnic reconciliation is concerned, there is little doubt that the north, where the most powerful rebel armies operate, holds the key to a permanent negotiated settlement.
The Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee released a statement on Thursday conveying the ethnic armed bloc’s intention to join the next iteration of the government’s 21st Century Panglong Conference if its members are officially invited to do so.
A major member of the United Nationalities Federal Council, the Shan State Progressive Party, has submitted a resignation letter to the council, with the ethnic armed group on Sunday revealing its plans to leave the coalition.
The government Peace Commission is preparing to meet “soon” with members of a recently formed alliance of ethnic armed groups based largely in Burma’s north, an apparent signal that the new coalition is increasingly viewed as an important factor in the peace process calculus.
The dwindling alliance of ethnic armed groups joined under the United Nationalities Federal Council banner convenes a conference in Thailand chaired by a leader of one of its former members, the influential Kachin Independence Army.
Several ethnic armed groups that are not signatory to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) have decided they will not sign the accord and instead are looking to engage in alternative-track peace talks under the leadership of the United Wa State Army.