PANGHSAN, Wa Special Region — On Wednesday, leaders and commanders from 12 ethnic armed groups will wrap up a six-day conference on Burma’s nationwide ceasefire process, an event that was hosted by the United Wa State Army (UWSA) in their semi-autonomous Wa Special Region in northern Shan State.
The conference brought together nine groups that are part of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Committee (NCCT) and non-NCCT members, the UWSA, the Shan State Army-South and the Mongla group, to discuss a draft ceasefire agreement.
The conference provided a rare opportunity for media to visit the Wa region and see ethnic leaders—some of whom are wanted by the government—convene in rebel-held territory.
The NCCT represents 16 groups involved in ceasefire negotiations with the government. The NCCT reached an in-principle agreement on a nationwide ceasefire accord on March 31, an agreement that was reviewed in Panghsan in recent days by assembled leaders.
Among the leaders and commanders of the ethnic groups in the NCCT were those leading the Kachin Independence Army, the Karen National Union, the Shan State Army-North, the New Mon State Party, the Kokang’s Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, the Karenni National Progressive Party, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, the Arakan Army and the Pa’O National Liberation Organization.