09 September 2014
The country is edging closer to its first-ever deal to silence the guns; numerous challenges remain but the prospects appear encouraging
Myanmar’s efforts to secure its first-ever nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) appears to be nearing fruition, as the fifth round of negotiations between the government’s Union Peace Working Committee and the National Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) representing 16 ethnic armed groups drew to a close in Yangon in mid-August.
Another round of talks is set to follow in mid-September, with both sides expecting the jointly drafted agreement to be signed by the end of October. The NCA aims to end internal conflicts, some older than the modern state of Myanmar itself, and pave the way for political dialogue on long-standing ethnic issues. While a herculean task lies ahead, the developments are encouraging.
The administration of President Thein Sein has made securing of the NCA a key deliverable of its tenure. His government has already secured various bilateral ceasefire agreements with most of Myanmar’s ethnic armed groups (EAGs). Although government forces continue to clash with some rebel groups and ceasefire violations have been reported, stakeholders from both sides are optimistic that the NCA is within reach.
… Kyaw San Wai is a Senior Analyst at Singapore’s S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
Last updated on 12/09/2014