The Mon State government is pressuring the local ethnic armed group to swiftly sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA).
During a meeting this week [May 16], members of the state government said that if the New Mon State Party/Mon National Liberation Army (NMSP/MNLA) inks the ceasefire, the state can focus on development, said U Min Kyi Win, Mon State’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
“The state government wants them to sign the NCA quickly,” he said.
The May 16 meeting involved both the Mon State chief minister and the NMSP. The NMSP has already indicated its willingness to sign the NCA, but says it wants others to join it in doing so.
“The NMSP has decided to sign the NCA but we will not sign it alone. We are still negotiating about signing it together with the UNFC [United Nationalities Federal Council] members,” said Nai Shwe Thein from the NMSP, and a member of the Delegation for Political Negotiation (DPN).
According to UNFC leaders, the NMSP, the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) and the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) have agreed to join the NCA. Others, including the Arakan National Council (ANC) and the Lahu Democratic Union (LDU) are on the fence, while the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and the Wa National Organization (WNO) both recently resigned from the UNFC over disputes around the NCA.
The UNFC has not announced whether it will be attending the upcoming 21st-Century Panglong Confernece, scheduled for May 24.
The UNFC’s negotiating team, the DPN, is expected to meet with the government peace commission in the coming days.