The Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) has decided to continue along the path of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), despite facing obstacles that are stalling political dialogue with its stakeholders. A total of 260 RCSS representatives met for the armed group’s biannual meeting at its Loi Tai Leng headquarters in southern Shan State from August 18-20.
According to an RCSS statement, the NCA could not move forward after stakeholders failed to reach an agreement during negotiations. Despite these challenges, the armed group stated that it still values the agreement and urged all stakeholders to resume dialogue to build a federal democratic union.
Ten armed groups signed the agreement during the U Thein Sein government’s administration, which was overseen by representatives from the UN, EU, China, India, Thailand, and Japan.
Currently, the Arakan Liberation Party, Democratic Karen Benevolent Army, Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army-Peace Council, Lahu Democratic Union, and Pa-O National Liberation Organization remain fully involved with the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST), which was formed by the NCA signatories to negotiate with the government as a bloc.
The RCSS and New Mon State Party have been meeting with regime leaders individually this year but have not officially stated that they no longer wish to work within the PPST.
Since the 2021 coup, NCA signatories, the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Chin National Front, who have been fighting the military regime, have stopped working with the PPST.
Padoh Saw Ta Doh Moo, the newly elected general secretary of the KNU, stated that the NCA was nullified due to the coup during an online press conference on August 10, following its 17th congress.