Ethnic Armed Organizations Meet at KIA Headquarters

 Those in attendance at the Laiza meeting included both signatories and non-signatories to the NCA with the Burmese government.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Representatives of a range of ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) met in the Laiza headquarters of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) this week to discuss issues surrounding federalism.

Those in attendance at the meeting—from September 17-19—included both signatories and non-signatories to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with the Burmese government. Signatory groups were the Chin National Front (CNF), the Karen National Union (KNU), and the New Mon State Party (NMSP). Non-signatory groups presented were the Karenni National Progressive Party, a member of the armed group coalition the United Nationalities Federal Council, along with KIA.

Delegates from the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army reportedly withdrew from the meeting partway through because of transportation difficulties.

According to KNU vice-chairman Padoh Kwe Htoo Win, participants discussed the implementation of the current peace process and federal issues.

“Our EAOs have a common political aim but our approaches are different. That’s why we are trying to seek common ground among ourselves,” he said. “If we have a common political goal, we discussed how we could get common basic principles.”

The purpose of the meeting was dialogue only—no decision-making reportedly took place.

A summit of NCA-signatory EAOs took place in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on September 12. It was decided at the meeting that an all-inclusive summit that included non-signatories should take place as soon as possible.