Ethnic armed groups held a summit with the top leaders of ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, from September 28 to 30. During the final day of the conference a statement was released including the statement, “Due to the developing political and military situations, not all ethnic armed groups are able to sign the NCA as it is”.
Seventy-one representatives from nineteen EAOs and six observers from the Women’s League of Burma (WLB) and Peace-talk Creation Group (PCG) were present at the Top Leader Summit of the EAOs.
The statement also mentioned that “However, the EAOs were able to establish mutual understanding on further cooperation between the EAOs on matters concerning the drafting of a political framework and military code of conduct, the formation of a joint monitoring committee and the implementation of political dialogue”.
The statement went on to say, “All the EAOs at this summit pledged to continue the fight, utilizing different approaches by each organizations, toward the realization of a democratic federal union”.
“Not all [ethnic armed groups] will participate in [NCA inking]. But they did not say that they would not sign it. They wanted to wait for a while. All groups agreed to cooperate in implementing respective projects. Now, seven groups have decided to sign the NCA,” said Pu Zing Cung, the Deputy (2) of Senior Delegation (SD) of the ethnic armed groups.
The government only invited fifteen ethnic armed groups to sign the NCA, but ethnic armed groups requested the government include at least seventeen ethnic armed groups for the NCA inking.
Of the government’s invited fifteen groups, seven groups have decided, at the 3-day summit, to sign the NCA, including Karen National Union (KNU), Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), KNU/KNLA-PC, Chin National Front (CNF), Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO), All Burma’s Students Democratic Front (ABSDF).
The remaining ethnic armed groups which decided not to sign yet are Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP), New Mon State Party (NMSP), Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), Kachin Independent Army (KIA), United Wa State Army (UWSA), National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) and National Socialist Council of Nagaland –Khaplang (NSCN-K).
Other ethnic armed groups that are left out for NCA inking are Wa National Organization, Lahu Democratic Union (LDU), Arakan National Council (ANC),Arakan Army (AA), Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army – Kokang group (MNDAA).
It was already announced officially that UWSA and NDAA won’t sign the NCA.
Meanwhile, clashes between the government troops and ethnic armed troops continue to take place in the areas of Shan and Kachin states.