Myanmar gov't signs ceasefire accord with 8 armed groups
Updated: 2015-10-15 13:36
NAY PYI TAW -- The Myanmar government and eight ethnic armed groups out of 15, involved in the peace deal with the government, initiated the Nationwide Ceasefire Accord (NCA) on Thursday, witnessed by local and international observers.
The signing of the NCA taking place at the Myanmar International Convention Center signals the near-end of more than six decades of civil conflict.
The eight armed groups are Kayin National Union (KNU), Kayin National Liberation Army(KNLA)-Peace Council, Pa-O Nationalities Liberation Organization (PNLO), All Burma Students' Democratic Front (ABSDF), Chin National Front (CNF), Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) , Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army (DKBA) and Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) / Shan State Army-South (SSA-S).
Representing the government side in the signing were President U Thein Sein, two vice presidents Sai Mauk Kham and U Nyan Tun, Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Services Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing and his Deputy and Commander-in-Chief of the Army Vice Senior-General Soe Win, as well as speakers of both houses U Shwe Mann and U Khin Aung Myint.
On behalf of the eight armed groups in the endorsement were their respective leaders.
Present on the occasion as invited international witnesses were from the United Nations, the European Union, China, India, Thailand and Japan.
Other invitees included government officials, foreign diplomats representing 50 countries, political parties including the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) and National Unity Party (NUP) as well as civil society organizations.