The United Nationalities Federal Council held an emergency meeting last Saturday to discuss the government’s nationwide ceasefire offer. Following the meeting UNFC announced that the offer is not acceptable at this point.
The UNFC called the executive emergency meeting following discussions with the Burma government to sign a nationwide ceasefire agreement on October 2013.
The UNFC’s general secretary, Naing Han Thar, told Karen News that the emergency meeting was held in Chaing Mai, Thailand to discuss how the UNFC members would deal with offers made by the government.
“There are condition that we presented to the government before a nationwide ceasefire agreement can be signed. In our meeting, we discussed how we will best deal with the issue and how we can move forward if the government goes ahead [with a nationwide ceasefire] without accepting our conditions. Despite the offer now is not the time to accept the government offer.”
Naing Han Thar said that the UNFC executive emergency meeting was attended by almost all the delegations of its, except for the Shan State Progression Party/ Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA).
The UNFC said that its intention are the issues of the ongoing fighting between the Burma Army and its members and getting durable agreements in place order to discuss the politics that are causing the underlying problems.
Naing Han Thar said that although the government has signed the ceasefire agreement with most of the individual ethnic armed groups, fighting still persists in Kachin State and Shan State between ethnic armed groups and the Burma Army.
Preliminary discussions about the signing of nationwide ceasefire agreement were held between the UNFC and the Union Peace Working Committee (UPWC) in Chaing Mai on September 8.
The UNFC was formed on November 2010 with 11 members – the (Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), the Karen National Union (KNU), the Shan State Progression Party/ Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), the New Mon State Party (NMSP), the Chin National Front (CNF), the P’O Nationalities Liberation Organization (PNLO), the Arekan National Council (ANC), the Lahu Democratic Party (LDP), the Wa National Organization (WNO) and the Palong State Liberation Front (PSLF).