Myanmar’s Peace Process: Getting to a Political Dialogue

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After almost 70 years of armed conflict that has targeted and devastated the lives of minority communities, the new government of Myanmar, which took power on 30 March 2016, inherited a peace process.

Seeking for a political settlement, the efforts are currently oriented towards the negotiations to convince the armed groups to sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in order to have a broader political dialogue. To ensure such goal, the government is recommended to demonstrate a less unilateral approach to the process in general and to guaranty that the civil society women and youth are fully and equally involved.

However, several challenges are facing this process including the weak capacity of the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre (NRPC), the forceful posture of the military on the ground, the difficulty to include  all the parties of the political society and the fragility of the political and security environment.

This paper presents in its first part an overview on the roots of the peace process and its framework as well as the role played by the NCA. The second part will be devoted to the features of the new approach which has been set up and followed by the current government in order to tackle in priority the peace process. This intention had been clear through the “Union Peace Conference” during which nearly all armed groups were presented.

Finally, the paper attempts to highlight the fundamental doubts concerning the peace process such as the possibility of implementing a negotiated federal solution, the concerns of sub-minorities and the question of the legitimacy of the negotiated solutions.

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