09/19/2019 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – On Tuesday, representatives from the Burmese government, army, and the Northern Alliance of ethnic armed groups agreed in principle on seven points of a draft bilateral ceasefire during peace talks in Kengtung, eastern Shan State.
Myanmar government and military officials from the National Reconciliation and Peace Center (NRPC) and representatives of the four members of the Northern Alliance (NA)—the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), the Arakan Army (AA) and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA)— met yesterday with the aim to reach bilateral ceasefire agreements.
The seven points include commitments to end the current fighting, plans for further bilateral ceasefire negotiations and pledges from all groups to cooperate on the rehabilitation and return of internally displaced people (IDP) to their homes.
Irrawaddy reports that U Zaw Htay, director general of the President’s Office, said the agreements-in-principle were signed by U Tun Tun Oo, vice chairman of the National Reconciliation and Peace Center, and representatives of the Northern Alliance.
It is the first time that the two sides were able to come to agreements on principles, after months of negotiation of the draft texts of bilateral ceasefire agreements.
Negotiators from both sides agreed to discuss further on reductions of troop deployments and codes of conduct to avoid further clashes. They will meet again in October pending the decision on venue and exact date.
Myanmar’s northern states, especially Kachin and Shan, have been suffering from ongoing armed conflicts between ethnic militias and the Burmese Army. More than 100,000 mostly Christian Kachin have been displaced since 2011. Despite repeated attempts to reach peace, sporadic attacks still continue.
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