According to NCCT leaders, the NCA draft, signed by both ceasefire negotiation parties, must be submitted for approval to the ethnic armed groups’ summit, while the government’s UPWC has already accepted the signing of the NCA.
“While the other side submits this [draft NCA] to their superior group[or government], we also submit this [draft NCA to our members]. [If] this signed agreement is destroyed by either of the sides, the peace can be broken. At the [NCCT] summit, it is possible that this NCA draft will be fixed, but we cannot say which point[s] must be fixed yet,” said Nai Hongsar, leader of the NCCT.
Nai Hongsar continued that the NCCT would extend an invitation to 10 other ethnic armed groups, besides the coordination team’s 12 member groups, to attend the NCCT Summit, wherein every group must attempt to agree to the signature of the NCA draft.
According to UPWC leader U Aung Min, the UPWC would sign the NCA with the NCCT’s 12 member groups and another 4 ethnic armed groups.
“From our side, we all accept it”, said U Aung Min, “We hope the other side will also accept [the draft NCA]. If [both sides] accept, the date for the signing of the NCA will be announced. At first, we would like to sign with only 16 groups. If other groups joined in, we then would have to hold discussions again, which would mean we would not be able to sign this agreement during this government term. So, we will just go ahead and sign with these 16 groups.”
The NCA draft was signed by five key UPWC representatives, namely Minister of the President’s Office U Aung Min, U Thein Zaw, Lt-Gen. Myint Soe, Union Minister Lt.-Gen. Thet Naing Win and Member of Parliament U Khet Htwin Nan; while representatives from the NCCT included Nai Hongsar, Pado Saw Kwe Htoo Win, Maj-Gen. Guan Maw, Dr. Salai Lianmong Sakhoung and Col. Khun Okkar.
The NCA draft, composed of 7 charters with 33 clauses and 86 smaller clauses, was signed by both the NCCT and the UPWC on March 31st. The negotiating groups agreed that points which were unable to be negotiated would be discussed in future meetings.
Each negotiating group is to submit the NCA draft to their committees for discussion, and only after every group has agreed, will the NCA be signed. Once the NCA is signed, political talks may then be initiated and implemented,.