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03/20/2019 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – From March 21, the Burmese government will meet eight ethnic groups that have not signed the National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) to negotiate at the peace talks for the first time.

The meetings with the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre (NRPC) in Naypyitaw will include the United Wa State Army (UWSA), Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the National Democratic Alliance Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, Shan State Progressive Party, and Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP).

The Arakan Army (AA), which has engaged in deadly armed clashes with the Burmese army in Rakhine and Chin state, will also be at the negotiating table.

According to Asia News, on March 22nd, a team of negotiators from the Tatmadaw (the Burmese Army) will meet each group in separate meetings. The government has asked each of the organizations to form a delegation headed by a leader and an exponent of the armed wing.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) government chaired periodic peace conferences with the aim to engage the ethnic armed organizations that were not NCA signatories. Without taking part in the NCA, these organizations cannot participate in the Panglong Peace Conference of the 21st century and the Union Peace Conference.

Aung Sang Su Kyi’s administration is hoping to put an end to decades of armed conflicts that have plagued the country, displacing nearly a million and killing tens of thousands citizens, including predominantly Christian ethnic Kachin people.

For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]