Govt Peace Commission, NCA Signatory EAOs Hold Informal Talks

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Burmese government’s Peace Commission is holding informal talks with ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) signatory to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) for two days in Thailand this week.

A delegation for the Peace Commission led by the retired Lt-Gen Khin Zaw Oo arrived in Chiang Mai on Sunday to meet the EAO representatives on Monday and Tuesday.

“We will meet all 10 NCA-signatory EAO leaders on August 19. We will also meet representatives of the KNU (Karen National Union) on the morning of August 20 and the RCSS (Restoration Council of Shan State) in the evening on the same day. We are still negotiating with KNPP (the Karenni National Progressive Party) for an informal meeting,” a Peace Commission source told NMG.

The KNU withdrew from formal dialogue meetings with the government at the end of 2018, citing a stalled peace process and lack of political progress. The RCSS withdrew from the meetings of the Joint Monitoring Committee for the NCA.

There has been recent talk that both groups could return to formal negotiations and dialogue.

The last informal peace talks between the Peace Commission and the signatory EAOs was held in Naypyidaw in July, and before that, in March in Chiang Mai.

The talks in Chiang Mai are being held while fighting against non-NCA signatory EAOs by the Burma Army intensifies in northern Shan State, following five-point coordinated attacks on military and police targets in Shan State and Mandalay Region by the EAOs. The move, they said, was retaliation for ongoing offensives against them that violate the military’s own unilateral ceasefire.

Monday and Tuesday’s talks will include Lt-Gen Khin Zaw Oo, government spokesperson Zaw Htay, and Peace Commission members Hla Maung Shwe, Moe Zaw Oo, and Kyaw Lin Oo.

The NCA-signatory ethnic armed organizations are: the KNU, RCSS, All Burma Students’ Democratic Front, Arakan Liberation Party, Chin National Front, Democratic Karen Benevolent Army, Karen National Liberation Army/Peace Council, Lahu Democratic Union, New Mon State Party, and the Pa-O National Liberation Organization.