Ethnic armed groups plan to hold ethnic conference ahead of fourth Union Peace Conference


Plans are underway to call an ethnic conference inclusive of all ethnic armed groups before the fourth round of the Union Peace Conference also known as the 21st Century Panglong Conference, according to sources ethnic armed group sources.

The ethnic conference was first planned in July or August this year, but the plan failed as the third round of the peace conference took place this month.

"I think we will have two stages. The first stage is for the ethnic armed groups which are signatories to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). Second, all the ethnic armed groups must participate. It would happen before the fourth peace conference," said Dr Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong, vice chairman of the Chin National Front, an NCA signatory.

All the signatories are planning to discuss difficulties they are facing and ways to find solution during the ethnic conference. There are also plans for non-signatories to seek ways to sign the NCA.

Previously, the ethnic conference was planned in Chiang Mai, Thailand. But now, no exact place has been mentioned.

"As the situation changes frequently, we cannot say exactly where the conference will take place," said Dr Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong.

At a meeting of the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee while the third round of the Union Peace Conference last week, the participants agreed to review the political dialogue framework and types of holding peace talks.