Non-NCA Signatory Armed Groups Invited to Review Political Framework

The invitation to the meeting was extended by the government to the armed groups.


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Burmese government invited a range of non-signatories to the country’s Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) to attend a political framework review meeting in early November.

Among those asked by the National Reconciliation and Peace Center to attend are the United Wa State Army (UWSA), the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), and the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP).

According to Col Khun Okker, a patron of the NCA signatory the Pa-O National Liberation Organization, the invitation letter was signed by government spokesperson Zaw Htay.

“The objective of this meeting is to review the political framework and to amend the framework. If we are going to discuss and amend the framework at this level, we already agreed to invite non-NCA ethnic armed organizations to do it,” he told NMG.

It remains to be seen whether the invited groups will attend the meeting, scheduled from November 1-3, Col Khun Okker added. The groups are allowed to send one representative.

“They can talk about difficulties in the framework as well as make suggestions for it. If they attend the meeting, it means the path is open for them. It’s not only for the framework. They can also discuss other issues. The communication channel is open for them,” he said.

NMG reached out to the recently invited groups for comment; a UWSA representative in the group’s Lashio liaison office said that they did not know if the organization would send a representative to the meeting. The KNPP’s general secretary (1) Khu Plu Reh said that his group’s decision would be made at a central committee meeting.

“There are many issues left in order to move the peace process forward. Both NCA-signatory groups, non-NCA groups, the army and the government must negotiate and hold dialogue on many issues,” Khu Plu Reh said. “They invited us to attend the meeting. We don’t know whether this invitation was made because of the demands of the 10 NCA signatory groups or if they really want an all-inclusive meeting to solve the deadlocked issues,” he explained.

NMG was not able to reach spokespeople from the KIA, NDAA, or SSPP/SSA at the time of reporting.

The Ta’ang National Liberation Army, the ethnic Kokang Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, and the Arakan Army were not invited to attend the upcoming meeting, but will meet the government’s peace commission in Kunming, China, on Wednesday.

The four organizations out of five invited were the members of Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee (FPNCC) or generally known as Northern Alliance while the KNPP is a member of United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC).