The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an alliance of ethnic armed groups, has responded to the Union Government announcing a countrywide ceasefire on 18 August. It would like the central government and alliance groups to talk directly.
The Burmese President Mr. Thein Sein’s letter announcing a countrywide ceasefire says that the ethnic armed groups are being urged to proceed for primary level talks and get in touch with concerned state and division’s authorities to solve the political imbroglio.
“Though states and divisions do have full authority; finally we will have to talk in Naypidaw on this issue. The Union government and UNFC representatives should talk directly, ” said Mr. Khun Okker, Joint Secretary of UNFC.
The UNFC statement on 28 August says that a solution can be found if the Peace Committee of the new government begins talks. The new government recently formed the committee.
The statement added that the result of oppression of ethnic minorities, human rights violation and political crisis are being brought on by armed conflict between ethnic armed groups and the central government of Burma. The ethnic alliance group rejected suggestions to get in touch with regional governments on the ceasefire announced by the new government.
Besides, the UNFC feels that the bipartite dialogue, which may come about by the Thein Sein government will affect the unity of ethnic nationalities and armed groups.
The UNFC said in their statement that the government had approached ethnic armed groups to sign and agree to a ceasefire and a bipartite dialogue in the past, but it did not bring the desired result of peace in the country.
The UNFC was formed by ethnic armed groups who organized a conference between 12-16 February 2011 to establish national equality, self-determination and a federal system in Burma.
The UNFC members are, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the Karen National Union (KNU), the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), the Chin National Front (CNF), the New Mon State Party (NMSP), the Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP), the PaO National Liberation Organization (PNLO), the Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLP), the Arakan National Council (ANC), the Lahu Democratic Union (LDU), the Wa National Organization (WNO) and the Kachin National Organization (KNO). Khonumthung news