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UNFC will fight for equality at national ceasefire meeting

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A UNFC meeting in February. (photo: UNFC)
A UNFC meeting in February. (photo: UNFC)
Khitar Non – After a threeday meeting, the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) said they have prepared a framework that will advocate for equality amongst all the ethnic armed groups in Burma. UNFCleaders made it clear this would be for both its membership and non-members during the upcoming nationwide-level ceasefire meeting that will take place later this month.

“We primarily discussed about for all ethnic armed groups how to stand in concern with the case of the nationwide ceasefire announced by the government,” said Nai Hong Sar, who is the general secretary for both the UNFC and the New Mon State Party (NMSP).

At the recent meetingin the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai city that ended on Tuesday, the umbrella group that represents 11 ethnic armed groupsdiscussedamending the 2008 Constitution and improving its own organizational structure.

“Now, we have already finished our frame work and already prepared for nationwide ceasefire discussion. But what we have not finished is to discuss with UNFC’s non-member armed groups,” Nai Hong Sar said.
UNFC plans to hold a meeting with non-UNFC members in Chiang Mai this Wednesday.

U Aung Min, minister for the President’s Office and chief government peace negotiator said at the peace talks between the Kachin Independent Organization (KIO) and government in the Myitkyina capital of Kachin state, which concluded this Wednesday, that a national ceasefire will pave the way for political dialogue to which the government has agreed to.

“Doing nationwide ceasefire is the beginningof the road to hold political talks,” he said.
The chief government peace negotiatoralso promised that issues related to equalityfor ethnic groups;such as self-determination, amending union constitution and establishing federal union, will be included in these political discussions.

At present 14 of the19 main ethnic armed groups in the country have signed ceasefires. Out of UNFC membership, seven have already signed ceasefires with the government, with another four that haven’t. Out of these four, two are involved in negotiations.

None of the ethnic armed groups have officially agreed to sign the national-level ceasefire that the government has been pushing.

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