Another Round of Ceasefire Talks Set for September

By May Kha, Political Parties 18 August 2014

YANGON — The Burmese government and ethnic leaders say they will hold another round of peace talks early next month to hammer out final disagreements before setting a date for the nationwide ceasefire accord.

Leaders of the government’s Union Peace Working Committee and the ethnic’s Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) announced on Sunday that further talks would be needed after concluding three days of meetings at the Myanmar Peace Center (MPC) in Rangoon.

“We have settled many sections [in the draft single text] left from the previous [May] meeting. There are only few paragraphs left,” said Minister Aung Min, the vice-chairman of the UPWC and the head of the MPC. “I believe we can settle them in our upcoming meeting in early September. If we can agree on these paragraphs, we can set the date for the nationwide ceasefire accord.”

Nai Hong Sar, head of the NCCT said, “All the negotiations went well, except further negotiations are needed to discuss the transition period, how many groups should participate in political dialogue, and how many groups will be signatories of the nationwide ceasefire agreement.”

In the draft text of the seven-chapter ceasefire accord, four paragraphs need further discussion, according to participants at the meetings that started Friday.

They said detailed negotiations over a federal political system would be tackled later, during political dialogue that will follow the signing of the ceasefire accord. The government has agreed that peace talks will be based on achieving a “federal system,” aimed at guaranteeing democracy, equality and self-determination for ethnic minorities.

On Monday, political parties will join the government and the NCCT at another meeting in Rangoon.