News / Asia

Burmese Armed Groups Agree to Dialogue with Government

A soldier from the Kachin Independence Army puts on his shoes as he and his comrade cross a stream towards the front line in Laiza, Kachin state, January 29, 2013.
A soldier from the Kachin Independence Army puts on his shoes as he and his comrade cross a stream towards the front line in Laiza, Kachin state, January 29, 2013.
VOA News
A coalition of Burmese armed minority groups has agreed to continue a dialogue with the government to try to reach a nationwide cease-fire deal.

Representatives of 17 armed groups and the Burmese government ended two days of talks in northern Kachin state without any concrete agreements. But the two sides announced they will keep meeting, starting next month in the southern state of Karen.

In the latest talks in Kachin, the Burmese government presented a cease-fire proposal calling on all of the minority groups to give up their strategy of violent struggle.

Rebel negotiator Khun Okkar, of the United Nationalities Federal Council, said in an interview with VOA the government needs to include armed groups in the cease-fire drafting process.

"We suggest that if there will be an accord, both of us need to discuss it first," he said. "Now the government has put their own accord on the table and it becomes a draft. But, it was written by parliament, the military and the government. We want to write the draft together. That task will be handled by our [Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination] Team."

Armed ethnic groups had been fighting the military for decades until most of them agreed to unofficial truces in recent years. Seventeen of them participated in a conference last week, agreeing to negotiate with the government in a unified voice and seek a broader cease-fire to replace the individual truces.

Burmese government spokesman Hla Maung Shwe said the main the goal for his side is to begin a political dialogue with the armed groups.

"In this dialogue, we need to discuss two basic issues," he said. "One is the nationwide cease-fire and another is the framework of the meetings. Now we are preparing for a nationwide cease-fire. Ethnic groups are bringing their agreement [to negotiate in a unified voice] and the government also has its own cease-fire policy. We have to discuss it."

One issue raised in the two-day meeting was the structure of the Burmese military. The armed groups are calling for the creation of a federal military that integrates their forces but also gives them some autonomy from the central government.

Burma's 2008 constitution, adopted under the country's former military rulers, says there can only be one national armed forces system.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Burmese service.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid