A summit between leaders of armed ethnic groups to discuss whether they should sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement has seen divisions emerge over its signing.
On the first day of the summit, which is being held from 28 – 30 September in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the majority of the groups said that they should not hurriedly sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and that they should wait until the nationwide ceasefire process can include all groups including the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, the Arakan Army, and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army.
Pu Zing Cung, from the ethnic Senior Delegation, said “Generally, all groups said they want to sign it. There is no group who does not want to sign it. But while some groups were saying we should sign the agreement immediately, some groups say they want to wait until the appropriate time. Some groups say that they need to inform their organizations and the citizens about the ceasefire affairs, so they think it is impossible to sign it in mid-October.”
Pu Zing Cung added that four ethnic groups said they can participate in preliminary bi-lateral ceasefire and political discussions, but they continue holding the “all-inclusive principle” that means they will maintain their stance of only signing the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement if it includes all groups.
The government has told ethnic groups that they want to sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement in early or mid-October.