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NMSP accepts NCA Text, but unable to sign in October

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MNSP Chairman Nai Htaw Mon undertaking a speech
MNSP Chairman Nai Htaw Mon undertaking a speech
Reported by Min Thu Tha, Although New Mon State Party (NMSP) accepts the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA),

certain ethnic armed groups are unable to sign the NCA. Subsequently, the NMSP won’t be able to sign the NCA by the government proposed date of mid-October.

NMSP landed on this decision at the Top Leaders Summit of Ethnic armed organizations (EAOs), held on September 28-30, in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, wherein 10 ethnic armed groups, including NMSP, decided not to sign the NCA yet.

“We already accept the NCA text. We have taken time and worked hard up to this step. But we do not want other groups to be left out, while some groups continue to have clashes [with the government troops],” said Nai Hongsar, NMSP’s vice-chairman in an interview with IMNA.

Nai Hong Sar continued to say that because the government did not provide guarantees on political and military matters , and continue to attack the omitted ethnic armed groups, there is no possibility that peace can be established nationwide.

The six ethnic armed groups that are left out from the NCA inking include Wa National Organization (WNO), 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).

Along with these excluded groups, the NMSP, Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), Kachin Indepdent Organization (KIO), and Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP) made decision at the Top Leaders Summit of EAOs that they won’t sign the NCA yet.

However, seven ethnic armed groups decided at the summit, to sign the NCA, and these groups are 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).

“We would like the groups that are going to sign the NCA to keep firm on the opportunities that they will be provided with. It should not be that some groups are left out since the remaining groups are of the policy that inking the NCA is all-inclusive. There are differing views so they need time,” said Nai Htaw Mon, during his speech on the final day of the summit where he was presiding.

Nai Htaw Mon continued to state that later, there will be certain ethnic armed groups that signed the NCA and ethnic armed groups that did not. However, this should not mean that the ethnic armed groups lose their objectives, should not forget their roots and ethnic fellows, and that it is necessary that they negotiate and work towards genuine peace.

On September 26, when the government’s union peace-making working committee (UPWC) met with NMSP at the Myolae Monastery, in Thanbyuzayat Town, UPWC’s vice-chairman Union minister U Aung Min said that if NMSP did not sign the NCA, it would be accepted only as an observer in future political talks.

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