A peace team led by Union Peace Working Committee (UPWC) Vice-Chairman and Minister Aung Min met with the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) on February 22 in Chiang Mai, Thailand to discuss the ongoing peace process. The UNFC is an alliance of armed ethnic groups that did not sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) on 15 October 2015.
Union Minister Aung Min confirmed that were trying to get all parties involved in the peace process saying, “We told the UNFC about the Union Peace Conference in January. We are still trying to include all. We always open the door for them. We are trying step by step,”
According to UNFC general secretary Khu Oo Reh, “We discussed how we could join hands in future to finalise our work on peace. Our meeting and discussion focussed on exploring ways to find a solution. We exchanged views and ideas. . . We said that we have a mutual wish to continue our unfinished work and discussed how we can achieve that. We agreed we would let each other know about these matters,”
He further said that they needed to continue the ongoing peace process and they needed further meetings and discussions for signing NCA.
UPWC had a 7-member delegation Union Minister U Aung Min, retired Lt. Gen. Khin Zaw Oo, Hla Maung Shwe, Tin Maung Than, Aung Naing Oo, Dr.Kyaw Yin Hlaing and NyoOhn Myint from Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC). From the UNFC side, Vice-Chairman Nai Han Tha, General Secretary Khoo U Reh, Maj. Gen. Gum Maw from KIO, Maj. Gen. Sai Htoo and Twan Zaw attended the meeting.
Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) spokesman Maj. Sai Mein told reporters that a delegation led by Chairman Lt. Gen. Yawd Serk also met the UPWC team in the evening for about an hour and they discussed the continuation of the ongoing peace process and cessation of fighting with Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA).
“We discussed the future peace process. We have worked with the MPC and spoke about how we will work with the new government. We talked about the future of MPC, whether it will be liquidated, or continue the peace process. And we also told them we are always open to discuss the fighting with the TNLA,” Maj. Sai Mein said.
He told reporters that neither the RCSS was violating the NCA nor were they joining hands with the Myanmar army in these clashes. He further said that the RCSS wished to work together with TNLA in politics and they hoped that the TNLA could sign the NCA, cease fighting, and continue as part of the ongoing peace process.