$21 million needed to monitor ceasefire

12 January 2016
$21 million needed to monitor ceasefire
SSA (Shan State Army) soldiers on parade at the jungle stronghold of Doi Tailing in Myanmar's Shan state along the Thai-Myanmar border, Saturday 28 January 2006. Photo: Rungroj Yongrit/EPA

Monitoring the ceasefire for three years will cost about $21 million USD according to the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) made up of representatives from the government, ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs).
The foundation of a Joint Monitoring Committee Union-level (JMC-U) was one of the terms of the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) which was signed by the government and eight ethnic armed groups in October 2015.  The NCA terms also called for the establishment of state and regional-level JMCs and talks were recently held to discuss how to best do this.
JMC-U Secretary-1 Dr. Shwe Khar said, “We have already founded the JMC-U, but we also have to set up not only the state-level JMC but also the regional-level JMCs. After founding these respective JMCs, we will then proceed with the monitoring activities in order for both sides to not engage in fighting. For this project, we need $21 million USD.”
The Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC) estimated that the cost of peace monitoring for three years will cost $7 to $8 million USD per year ($21 to $24 million USD in total). This would fund the establishment of monitoring committees and facilities in ceasefire areas, and prevent territorial conflicts and clashes between Tatmadaw troops and the eight EAOs who signed the NCA.
The JMC-U discussed its projected budgetary needs for the monitoring process with more than 30 potential donors from the international community, including the UN, on 8 January at the MPC. In addition to budget negotiations with international donors the JMC also intends to approach the Hluttaw (Parliament) for state funding.
Dr. Shwe Khar said that if fighting breaks out after the JMCs are established, the relevant JMC representatives would face penalties. In the event that crimes were committed in ceasefire monitoring areas, representatives would face criminal charges.
The JMC was established within 30 days of the NCA signing in accordance with the NCA's terms.
Courtesy BNI