Juri Chai – If a dialogue takes place between the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) and the delegation of government peace negotiators, the Kachin Independent Organization (KIO) ceasefire issue will be discussed, said UNFC General Secretary Nai Hong Sar.The UNFC emailed U Aung Min, the chief of the Burmese government’s peace negotiators, in mid-April requesting to meet with government representatives, but there has yet to be a reply. The UNFC hopes to meet with the government as soon as possible, stated Nai Hong Sar.
“Each separate discussion with individual groups won’t be perfect. Therefore, we asked the government to meet with the UNFC.”
Hostilities continue to break out in the area controlled by the KIO, a UNFC member, so the UNFC wants to negotiate with both the military group and the government, he continued.
During its April 19th press conference, the UNFC released a statement that it was willing to meet with government negotiators for a peace talk.
U Nyo Own Myint, one of the peace negotiators, said, “I think both sides need to meet each other because only basic ceasefire points can be discussed in separate meetings with individual groups. The UNFC plays an important role in politics so the government will pay attention to this issue, I think.”
Meanwhile, three leaders of the UNFC, an organization consisting of ethnic armed groups, reached Tokyo on Wednesday to meet with the Japanese government and Burmese ethnic organizations based in Japan to discuss the peace talk in Burma.
The ethnic leaders visiting Japan are KIO General Secretary Dr. La-jar, Karen National Union (KNU) Vice Chairman Saw David Tar Kapaw, and Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO) chairman Khun Okkar.
In February 2011, the UNFC was comprised of six ceasefire groups and six non-ceasing groups, but now has eleven affiliates since two Kachin groups joined to form one.
Of the current UNFC members, only two–the KIO and PNLO—have yet to enter into a ceasefire agreement.