Second NCA Workshop Takes Place in KNU HQ
Lay Wah, Karen State
9 October 2015
Leaders of the Karen National Union (KNU) held the second National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) workshop during the week of October 5th – 9th 2015, in the Headquarters of Lay Wah, Karen State.
There were a hundred attendees in total, including members from the KNU Central Executive Committee’s (CEC) HQ, the seven KNU districts, military officers from the KNLA’s HQ and military from the KNDO’s HQ. Questions were fielded from those present throughout the workshop.
The workshop was facilitated by P’doh Naw Zipporah Sein (KNU Vice–Chairman), P’doh Saw Thaw Thi Bwe (Joint General Secretary 1), General Saw Baw Kyay Heh (KNLA Vice Chief-of-Staff), P’doh Tah Doh Moo and P’doh Saw Tha May Htun (KNU CEC).
During the opening ceremony, P’doh Naw Zipporah Sein explained what the next steps would be once the NCA was signed. She stressed the importance of keeping to the agreement, the inclusion of both base leaders and general public in the discussion, as well as asking that those present talk openly and freely to each other about the NCA.
KNLA Lt. Gen. Baw Kyaw Heh then went on to say, “EAO leaders approached the Gov’t about this NCA, but we know that they also want this because they have signed bilateral agreements with some of us already. It is also the responsibility of other EAOs to decide whether or not they will sign the NCA as well. We will be prepared for the next steps this time because we have learnt from the past.”
The speakers also discussed some of NCA’s content, such as a permanent code of conduct (COC), a monitoring system, establishing a framework for political dialogue plus an interim arrangement that will allow the political dialogue to be managed effectively.
The conversation moved on to DDR/SSR (Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration; Security Sector Reform) as they understand it, along with some information about establishing a federal union.
According to the agreement, the first step after signing will be to hold an implementation meeting, in which a joint political dialogue committee, as well as a joint monitoring committee, will be formed.
P’doh Saw Themin Tun said, “We have agreed a final draft for the NCA already, so it is complete. The main objective of this workshop is to gain a better understanding of the NCA and what it means, so that we can explain it to the public.”
P’doh Saw Thaw Thi Bwe went on to add that, “The KNU, along with eight other EAOs, will sign the NCA. We believe this is part of a progressive realization, so even though some other ethnic groups can’t sign the NCA, they will still be involved in the framework for political dialogue, as well as the political dialogue itself.” The first NCA workshop took place from September 21st – 25th 2015 and was attended by both central level leaders and leaders from military HQ.
Earlier in the month, some CEC leaders visited Brigade 3, Brigade 4,and Brigade 6, in order to explain the details of the NCA to district and Brigade Leaders.