FPNCC Open to Negotiations With NLD Govt, But Members Need Bilateral Ceasefire

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee (FPNCC) released a statement last week announcing that the ethnic alliance was open to engaging in negotiations with the next National League for Democracy (NLD) government.

“We will negotiate with the new government led by the NLD. Based on our negotiations and discussions, we will continue to work on the process of national reconciliation, implement business, education, health and other regional development programs in ethnic regions, and participate in the process of promoting living standards,” the November 18 statement said.

FPNCC congratulated the NLD on winning the majority of parliamentary seats in the general election held on November 8.

However, for future peace talks to succeed, political analysts have emphasized the need for a bilateral ceasefire agreement between the government, military, and members of the Northern Alliance—the Arakan Army (AA), Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA). The Northern Alliance members are also FPNCC members.

“To officially start political dialogue, the FPNCC needs to sign a bilateral ceasefire agreement. The KIA, the TNLA, the MNDAA, and the AA need to sign a bilateral ceasefire agreement. After these four EAOs [ethnic armed organizations] sign a bilateral ceasefire agreement, they can join with the other three EAOs for political dialogue,” political analyst Maung Maung Soe told NMG, referring to FPNCC members the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), Shan State Progress Party (SSPP), and the United Wa State Army (UWSA).

Maung Maung Soe added that since neither the AA nor the Burma Army have reported clashes in Rakhine State for at least eight consecutive days, this could be the time to discuss a potential ceasefire.

The Tatmadaw’s Information Team reported that Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing met with Nyi Kap, the UWSA’s deputy head of political affairs in Mong Hsat, eastern Shan State on November 17. In the meeting, Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing urged the UWSA sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA).

“The Tatmadaw will help with regional development including education, health, and so on. Peace negotiation talks are slowing for many reasons. Therefore, there may be some obstacles in implementing economic and social development in the region. We want the UWSA to walk on the NCA path and work for regional development. We have to promote living standards and make long lasting peace in the country for our new generation,” the Tatmadaw’s Information Team reported.

The FPNCC’s members are not signatories to the NCA.