With peace still looking elusive and negotiations as fractured as ever, a steering committee established by the ceasefire signatories has agreed to conduct a broad review of the peace process.
The Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) announced on July 2 that it would undertake the survey.
The team, compromised of representatives from the eight ethnic armed groups party to the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA), met in Chiang Mai, Thailand from June 28 to July 2, according to team spokesperson Yebaw Than Khe, who is also chair of the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF).
“We will start discussions about the review at the KNU’s headquarters in Law Khee Lah on July 20. We will discuss the outcome of the meeting with the government, the Tatmadaw, the other ethnic armed organizations and political parties in August,” he said.
He added that the review is necessary as glitches have occurred in the current, NCA-guided peace process, such as issues preventing some signatory groups from holding the mandated national-level political dialogues.
According to the announcement, the PPST will also continue discussions over state-level power-sharing arrangements, state constitutions and implementation of the peace agreements. The review will include the national-level political dialogues, the working committee meetings and challenges faced at the 21st-Century Panglong Conferences.
The PPST insisted that the ethnic armed groups and the government seem to share different definitions of the NCA which has affected implementation of the principles, views, and pledges, and has led to perceptions of injustices.
The PPST was established on March 24, 2016 during the second summit of the NCA signatory groups in Chiang Mai. The PPST is led by General Mutu Say Poe, chair of the Karen National Union, and Lieutenant General Yawd Serk, chair of the Restoration Council of Shan State.