UPWC, KIO agree to form conflict mediation team as part of first phase of implementing joint monitoring mechanism

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(New Light of Myanmar, 14 May 2014)

Myitkyina, 13 May— Union Peace-Making Work Committee and KIO delegation agreed to form a conflict mediation team after holding peace talks at Majwel Hall in Myitkyina on Tuesday.

In his greetings at the meeting, U Thein Zaw, vice-chairman of the work committee and chairman of People’s Parliament national race affairs, improvement in rural affairs and internal peace-making committee, expressed hope for bringing fruitful outcomes of the meeting to all national races in Kachin State, vowing that Parliament will do the best it can.

U Swan Lut Gam, leader of KIO delegation, voiced an escalation of fightings is due to both sides that lacked sense of responsibility to maintain agreements, saying that building a mutual and shared understanding between the two sides has stayed weak.

In his speech, Union Minister U Aung Min, vice-chairman of the work committee, stressed the need to take a simultaneous action on signing of nationwide ceasefire agreement and peace process between the government and KIO.

He proposed a mechanism for finding solution to the problem before going to a higher degree. Both sides have to follow and implement the already-achieved agreements including an agreement to establish a joint-monitoring committee, he added. He called on both sides to protect the civilian population in Kachin State, listening to the voice of concerns for both Shan and Kachin national races. It is required to start a pilot project for resettlement of IDPs in their villages and reopening of roads used by the people, he said.

He highlighted the importance of a ceasefire between the government and KIO, calling for a restoration of trust for reaching it. This meeting is aimed at seeing no more clashes and effective implementation of the agreements both sides have, he added. He stressed the need to build a mechanism to produce solutions and proposed pilot projects for formation of a joint-monitoring committee and resettlement of IDPs.

Next, those present held discussions on matters occurred after the 2013 October meeting and works to be done regarding the agreements brought by May and October meetings.

Then, U Aung Min, U Swan Lut Gam, U Thein Zaw and Maj-Gen Gwan Maw signed agreements and exchanged notes.

After the meeting, Union Peace-Making Work Committee and KIO delegation issued a joint statement. It is as follows:

(1) Union Peace-Making Work Committee led by Vice-Chairman of the work committee Union Minister U Aung Min and a KIO delegation led by U Swan Lut Gam held talks on peace process at Majwel Hall in Myitkyina from 9 am to 4 pm on 13 May. It was also attended by Ms. Mariann Hagen of the Office of UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Myanmar, Mr. Wang Ying Fan, special envoy on Asian Affairs from the People’s Republic of China, 39 representatives from NCCT, UNFC and other national race armed groups and PCG members as observers.

(2) Both sides had a frank discussion about the incidents occurred after the meetings in May and October, 2013 and focused on the avoidance of incidents that can hinder ongoing peace process, upholding the realization of the peace process.

(3) Both sides agreed to form a “conflict mediation team” as part of the first phase of implementing a joint monitoring mechanism agreed on 10 October, 2013.

(4) Matters related to false reports of some media that disrupted mutual understanding were also discussed at the meeting.

(5) Both sides agreed to make coordination between the representatives of two sides for holding next meeting.

Also present at the meeting were Union Ministers U Khin Yi, U Ohn Myint and U Khin Maung Soe, Kachin State Chief Minister U La John Ngan Sai, Commander of Northern Command Maj-Gen Tun Tun Naung, state minister Col Than Aung, MPC members and observers.