Peace negotiators for the government and representatives from an alliance of ethnic armed groups are expected to meet for more informal talks on August 4 as debate over preconditions to signing the ceasefire continue.
The Chiang Mai talks are expected to focus on the alliance’s request to reduce the number of participants in official peace dialogues down to three.
The government’s Peace Commission and the United Nationalities Federal Council’s (UNFC) Delegation for Political Negotiation have held five official meetings to discuss terms for signing the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA).
“We will negotiate the process and the eight points. It is only an informal meeting,” said Nai Aung Ma Nge, deputy leader of the DPN.
The UNFC’s spokesperson, U Tun Zaw, said the tripartite dialogue demanded by the ethnic armed organizations and international joint observers has proved a sticking point. Other topics of contention include the monitoring of ceasefire implementation.
“Among the eight EAOs that have already signed the [NCA[, some signatory groups are still fighting such as the RCSS [Restoration Council of Shan State]. There are many things we can point out about the way they are resolving the issues. Concerning the military issues…we don’t see the signs of political desire and generosity on the Tatmadaw’s side. That’s why clashes break out on the ground. Unbiased international representatives need to be involved in order to prevent this from happening,” he added.
The Peace Commission and the DPN also met informally last month, on July 20.