The second conference of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an alliance of ethnic armed organisations that did not sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), has been postponed due to the current political and military circumstances in the country.
The UNFC’s central executive committee emergency meeting which was held from March 12 to 14 had decided to hold the second conference for three days in March but now it has been postponed.
UNFC Vice-Chairman Nai Hongsa told reporters that the 3-day CEC meeting passed resolutions for reviewing and amending the UNFC constitution and discussing and analysing the UNFC conference. After which they decided to postpone the conference.
“We postponed our conference to take more time to study the current situation. It may be even beyond May. We have two different situations here. We are negotiating with the government and at the same time, a meeting was held in Pangkham, northern Shan State. So, we need to explore ways to overcome these difficulties and conflicting situations. So, we postponed our conference again,” Nai Hongsa said.
“The CEC meeting reviewed our constitution and made some amendments with deletions and insertions. This amendment was approved by the meeting. And then we negotiated on who to be invited and how the conference would be held. The negotiations were okay but under the current political and military circumstances, we decided the conference should not be held on the scheduled date. The political issue makes many difficulties for us.” he added.
He further said that they had to postpone the conference due to two conflicting situations, the first one is to go via the non-NCA path following the statement issued by United Wa State Party (UWSP) Headquarters in Pangkham, and the second one is to go the NCA path which is under negotiation with the government and the Delegation for Political Negotiations (DPN) of the UNFC based on their 9-point proposal submitted to the government.
Nai Hongsa said, “At the Pangkham meeting they decided to forego the NCA path and on the other hand our negotiations with government via the NCA path is progressing considerably. Our visions of peace will be divided unless we can handle these two conflicting situations and visions properly. And then we foresee an escalation of military tensions and fighting. So, we decided to take time.”
Nai Hongsa added that the government agreed the DPN’s 9-point proposal in principle but they will continue further negotiations.