JMC stress CSO's role in ceasefire effort

14 August 2019                                                     

7th meeting between CSOs who involved in different levels of the Joint Monitoring Committees took place in Yangon on Tuesday.

CSO representatives from across the country joined the meeting held at National Reconciliation and Peace Center (NRPC).

The meeting discussed the reports on JMC-related works and the future plan.

The JMC and representatives discussed the strong points, weak points and suggestion concerning the ceasefire efforts carried out.

U Ko Ko Gyi, Vice Chairperson-2 of JMC-Union said, " As the ceasefire meetings have been suspended, we cannot conduct the meeting of the entire JMC yet. So the CSOs play a vital role for the time being. The CSOs would reach out to the Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) to conduct mediation in a personal manner. This is the effort by the CSOs for the ceasefire effort to help JMC operate regularly. And in time of suspension, CSOs engage with EAOs to maintain the relation."

At first, CSOs were not included in signing the National Ceasefire Agreement. It was only between the government, Hluttaw, Tatmadaw and the ethnic armed organizations.

Later, there developed a concept which stresses the participation of CSOs in the ceasefire effort. Over time, this makes the role of JMC more important.

"Also in the future, we have plan to form a local civilian monitor. Despite the plans, we are on the hold as the NCA is on the suspension. So if the role of the CSOs  becomes better represented on the ground, the effort will be more effective,” he added.

The Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) signed on October 15th, 2015 by the Union of Myanmar Government and 8 Ethnic Armed Organizations created two major joint bodies: the Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee (JMC) and the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPJDC). The JMC includes union, state and local levels to implement ceasefire monitoring at different levels.

The JMC-U was formed on 18 November 2015 with 10 representatives from government, 10 from the eight signatory ethnic armed organizations and six civilians.

He continued to comment that awareness on the JMC needs to be raised.

" We need to raise awareness on the works of JMC. Even some of the departmental officials don't know exactly what JMC is doing. So we are raising awareness among the general administration and police and other relevant associations. As the role of CBOs and CSOs has increasingly important, we are raising awareness on the nature of JMC... for better understanding. We also invite students and teachers the works JMC is engaging and the levels of the committees as well as the guild lines for the systematic implementation. We are accelerating the effort for these measures during the suspension."

Ten ethnic armed groups have signed the NCA so far.­ Eight signed it on October 15, 2015, while two, the New Mon State Party and the Lahu Democratic Union signed it on February 13, 2018.

The signatories to the NCA, includes the Chin National Front (CNF), (ABSDF),  (ALP), the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), the Karen National Union ((KNU) and KNLA (PC), the  (DKBA), and the Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO), the New Mon State Party and the Lahu Democratic Union.

The Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement ( NCA) was a landmark ceasefire agreement between the government of Myanmar and representatives of various  "ethnic armed organizations" (EAOs) by the government. The draft was agreed upon by a majority of the invited parties on 31 March 2015,[1] and the agreement was signed by Former President U Thein Sein on 15 October 2015.[2] The signing was witnessed by observers and delegates from the United Nations, the United Kingdom, Norway, Japan and the United States. A ceremony is held by the government annually on the anniversary of the signing of the agreement.

Arker Kyaw