A joint delegation of the ethnic United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) and the National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB) has arrived in the US to talk about Burma's ethnic peace processes with US and UN officials.
The delegation will meet with Burma’s ethnic communities and UN and US officials, among others, to support sustainable peace for Burma’s ethnic nationalities, said the group's leaders.
David Thackarbaw, the delegation’s leader, said, “Until and unless the Burmese military actually ceases its attacks against the ethnics, ‘stability’ and ‘reconciliation’ in Burma will not be possible," in a statement released on Thursday.
“We are ready for more dialogue with all the stakeholders of Burma,” he said. “We believe that having international community involvement will help pave the way to national reconciliation.”
Khun Okker of the UNFC said that a unified political and democratic dialogue is a must following the signing of a series of individual cease-fire agreements between ethnic resistance groups and the Burmese government.
In the midst of Burmese military offensives and widespread human rights abuses in Kachin and Shan states, the joint-delegation is advocating an “ethnics’ benchmark.”
Recently, both the UNFC and the NCUB called for Burma’s political situation to be resolved before 2015 in a “Benchmarks for Renewed Engagement with Burma” statement.
Ethnic leaders said they seek a genuine dialogue for reconciliation and a political solution, but without the engagement and support of both the Burmese government and the National Defense Security Council, they do not believe that durable peace will be possible.
“We would of course like to resolve Burma’s political issues within a time frame because we have all suffered enough decades of civil war. However, we are also prepared and will continue to defend our people until peace, national reconciliation, and federalism are achieved in Burma,” the statement said.