Pact To End Decades Long Conflict
The long wait is over and finally the government of Burma and eight ethnic armed groups have signed the the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) to end more than six decades of fighting.
According to media reports, the ceasefire agreement was signed in Myanmar’s administrative capital in Naypyitaw by President Thein Sein and representatives of the enthic groups.
The signing of the pact was also witnessed by representatives of the United Nations, and the European Union.
The eight signatories include the All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF), Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), Chin National Front (CNF), Democratic Karen Benevolent Party (DKBA), Karen National Liberation Party-Peace Council (KNLA-PC), Karen National Union (KNU) and Pa-O National Liberation Party (PNLA).
Though the pact was ignored by ethnic groups, the pact was hailed by the United States and the United Nations after a draft was signed by Thein Sein and rebels in March this year.
Burma was engulfed by unrest while ethnic armies have been fighting since the country gained independence from the British in 1948. The turmoil is considered one of the main reasons that led to slow economic development of the country.
General elections are slated for this coming November 8 in the country and election of a new president will follow.
US Commends Ceasefire Between Government and Rebels
In a press statement in Washington DC, Depapartment Spokesperson John Kirby said the United States commends all sides for their ongoing efforts to bring an end to the longest-running civil conflict in the world.
“The signing of the text of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) is a critical first step in a long process of building a sustainable and just peace in Burma.” – Mr. Kirby
The United States called on all NCA signatories to adhere to the spirit and letter of the agreement they signed.
In addition, Mr. Kirby highlighted that dialogue among all parties will be essential to ensuring continued progress toward national trust-building and lasting peace.
The US also urged all parties to continue to engage with each other and civil society representatives in the spirit of unity and compromise, particularly in the process to finalize a political dialogue framework and the conduct of the political dialogue itself.
The United States also emphasized that the US government will watch closely and support full implementation of all agreements, the NCA, existing bilateral ceasefires, and the political dialogue that follows.
Critical Step To End Six Decades of War
For almost six decades, the ongoing clashes between Burma’s government and ethnic groups have undermined the political and economic stability of the country.
The new ceasefire pact is considered a critical step to end the turmoil in the country. The US, EU, and UN hailed the agreement as a historic gift to restore peace in the developing country.