The announcement followed two days of talks between the government’s Union Peace Working Committee and the ethnic groups’ Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team at the Myanmar Peace Center in Yangon.
The committee will comprise nine members each from the two sides.
“The team will start drafting in the first week of April,” NCCT chairman Nai Hong Sar said.
“Armed ethnicgroups such as United Wa State Army, National Democratic Alliance Army, and Restoration Council of Shan State, who are not part of NCCT, will be allowed to participate in the discussions,” Nai Hong Sar said, adding that the team regarded them as reserve forces.
“They will help us understand the situation and might become members of NCCT later,” he said.
Six senior military officers also participated in the talks at the request of the NCCT.
KhunOkkar, a member of the NCCT, said it made the request because it wanted to hold talks with military personnel as well as the government negotiating team, which is headed by U Aung Min, a Minister in the President’s Office.
“The Commander-in-Chief [Senior General Min AungHlaing] permitted the six officers to take part in the negotiations,” said KhunOkkar, who heads the Pa-O National Liberation Organisation.
Details of military matters will be discussed at the April meeting, said one of six officers,
Lieutenant General U MyintSoe. “After that we will know how much progress we have achieved,” he said, adding: “We are here because we really want peace.”
Some members of parliament also took part in the talks.
The nationwide ceasefire agreement will have seven chapters and will include guarantees for political dialogue, a key demand of the armed ethnic groups.
Both parties agreed to hold the signing ceremony in the Kayin State capital, Hpa-an, in the last week of April, after the traditional new year festival, Thingyan.
“We are striving for a ceasefire accord than can come into force before the monsoon sets in,”
Both sides will strive for the speedy implementation of the ceasefire and for political dialogue after the agreement had been signed, said a joint statement issued after the meeting.
The political dialogue would start within sixty days, it said.
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