The United Wa State Party/Army (UWSP/UWSA) should be one of the signatories of the planned Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), said U Aung Min, Vice Chairman of the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC) on Saturday, 11 July, while meeting representatives of the Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army (KNU/KNLA) and Restoration Council of Shan State/ Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) at Myanmar Peace Center (MPC) in Rangoon.
The UWSA and its closest ally National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) have so far maintained that as the ceasefire which was concluded in 1989 is still observed by both sides, there is no need to sign the NCA. Both say they are waiting for the political dialogue to start so they can join it.
But U Aung Min says the NCA is not just about ceasefire. “It also includes sections on political dialogue, federalism and the Unlawful Association Act (better known as Section 17/1)” he told the Shan and Karen representatives. “Only by signing the NCA, these guarantees could be fulfilled.”
An MPC official added, “If the Wa are allowed to take part in the political dialogue without signing the NCA, then it is likely other groups may also follow suit. How can we let that happen?”
The UWSA, since 1993, has been calling for a separate statehood and NDAA for a Self-Administered Zone (SAZ) status.
U Aung Min said a union minister had been assigned to talk with the Wa leadership. No details were given.