Ceasefire accord unlikely to be finalised this month, says MPC
Tin Zar Aung
The Myanmar Peace Center says it is unlikely that talks between the government and armed ethnic groups to finalise a draft ceasefire agreement will take place in late July.
A senior adviser to the MPC, U Hla Maung Shwe, said it had proposed that the talks take place late this month when it met members of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordinating Team, a coalition representing armed ethnic groups, in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai on July 6.
“We proposed a meeting to be convened in the last week of July but the minority ethnic groups will only be able to confirm their participation once they have held their summit conference,” said U Hla Maung Shwe, who participated in the Chiang Mai meeting.
The summit of armed ethnic organisations, including the 16 groups groups in the NCCT, is expected to be held in Chiang Mai from July 24 to 26, he said.
If the next proposed meeting between the government's Union Peace-making Work Committee and the NCCT cannot take place late this month it will represent a delay in finalising negotiations on a ceasefire.
“We had initially proposed the last week of July as a date for the signing of the agreement, however that now seems unlikely,” U Hla Maung Shwe said.
The two sides reported progress towards finalising a ceasefire accord at the end of the last round of negotiations that ended in Yangon on May 23.