Yangon, March 31
Myanmar President Thein Sein attended the ceremonial signing on Tuesday of a draft ceasefire accord between the government and ethnic rebel groups that is aimed at ending more than 65 years of armed conflict in the country.
The government’s negotiating team, known as the Union Peace Working Committee and the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), which represents 16 ethnic armed groups, are the two parties that formulated the draft agreement, which ethnic representatives will take to the leaders of the rebel groups.
The ceasefire agreement would mark a significant achievement if it is ratified and respected, and allow for political negotiations between the government and ethnic groups that have been fighting for autonomy.
“The signing of the draft accord between the NCCT and the UPWC will pave the way for holding political dialogue,” Thein Sein said.
“If everything goes well, the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement will be signed by top leaders of ethnic armed groups in Naypyitaw in May,” said Hla Maung Shwe, a senior adviser from the Myanmar Peace Centre. — Reuters
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