If all goes well, the Myanmar government and eight ethnic armed groups will formally sign a tionwide ceasefire accord on October 15. This will come after more than a year of tough negotiations, stretching over nine gruelling rounds. After the formal signing, both sides will draw up a political framework within 60 days and start the next round of political dialogue within 90 days. President Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government, which assumed power four years ago, is anxious to showcase the signing of the accord before the November 8 elections. Placing the accord at the heart of its reforms, the government hopes to move onto building Myanmar as a federal system, with the army secure in its political and parliamentary role of enforcing tiol unity. The peace process got under way from November 2013, with ethnic organisations wanting 17 groups to be included in the talks. But the military took a hard-line against some rebel outfits fighting in the northern Kachin and Shan states where lakhs of people have been displaced and scores killed. The conflict has been particularly serious at Kokang region of Shan state, with ethnic Chinese rebels fouling diplomatic relations between Beijing and ypyidaw. India too has a vested interest in lasting peace in Myanmar, so that it can pursue its interest of isolating NE insurgent outfits from Myanmar rebel groups.
Accord in Myanmar