TheinSein’s government has made efforts to bring all of the country’s armed rebel groups within a nationwide cease-fire accord—anticipated in April—but the deal needs to be accompanied by political agreements that will help address mistrust of the government still lingering after decades of military rule.
While most of Myanmar’s armed groups have signed individual cease-fire agreements with the government in recent years, Naypyidaw is pushing to have a single nationwide agreement signed by all groups.
But there is speculation about whether the nationwide ceasefire and political dialogue will go ahead as soon as the government is hoping, since some of the ethnic groups—the ethnic Palaung militia, the Wa and the Restoration Council of Shan State, for instance—are not fully participating in the process
However, the government insisted that the peace process is “ongoing,” and that mutual understanding is being built in the discussions.
Tomas Ojea Quintana, on his ninth visit to Myanmar as the U.N.’s special rapporteur for human rights in the country, said securing peace with ethnic rebels and addressing sectarian violence are crucial to reforms advocated by President Thein Sein’s administration.
“A critical challenge for Myanmar will be to secure cease-fire and political agreements with ethnic minority groups, so that Myanmar can finally transform into a peaceful multi-ethnic and multi-religious society”- Quintana said.