Suu Kyi urges rebels to sign Myanmar peace deal

State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi was in Panglong in restive Shan state to mark 70th Myanmar Union Day

Suu Kyi urges rebels to sign Myanmar peace deal

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Sunday has urged ethnic rebels to sign the cease-fire agreement with the government as the country struggles to end one of the the world's longest running civil wars.

State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi called on the ethnic armed organizations to join the peace process by signing the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), a landmark peace deal between the previous government and eight out of the 15 rebel groups invited in 2015.

“I again want to urge the ethnic rebels to sign the NCA and join the peace talks,” she said during a meeting with ethnic representatives in a small town of Panglong in the restive Shan state to mark the 70th Myanmar Union Day.

On Feb. 12, 1947, Myanmar’s independence hero Gen. Aung San (late father of Aung San Suu Kyi) and the representatives of various ethnic groups signed a historic agreement in Panglong, about 800 km northeast of the country’s largest city, Yangon, to claim independence from British colonialists.

Since independence from Britain in 1948, Myanmar (then Burma) has seen over a half-century of armed conflict involving ethnic rebels.

Replacing the military junta in 2011, former President Thein Sein’s administration started peace talks with rebels, which led to the NCA. However, several major rebel groups refrained.

Myanmar still witnesses some of the fiercest fighting between certain rebel groups and the military although the Suu Kyi-led civilian government took power in March, 2016.

On Sunday, an official of a NCA signatory group told Anadolu Agency by phone that more rebel groups are expected to sign the peace deal this month.

“We are hoping up to two groups sign the NCA and join the peace conference this month,” said Khun Okka, leader of the Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO).

He declined to name the groups.

Myanmar is to hold second meeting of the Union Peace Conference on Feb. 28.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Şubat 2017, 12:04