Financial Times: “International community must support peace in Myanmar”
September 28, 2015| Richard Horsey
(Richard Horsey is Vriens & Partners Senior Counselor in Myanmar and a widely-published political analyst with over 20 years of experience working on Myanmar)
Myanmar could be on the verge of ending six decades of civil war, but the peace process is hanging by a thread and the international community needs to act now to save it.
Local negotiators are scrambling to get a nationwide ceasefire signed ahead of elections in November that could significantly reshape the distribution of power. The text of the agreement has been thrashed out between representatives of the government and military, and a bewildering array of ethnic armed groups. While the document is far from perfect, there are crucial promises of a political process to meet rebel and ethnic community demands for federalism and a share in the profits from natural resources in their areas.
The sole remaining issue is who will sign, and when. A meeting between rebel leaders and President Thein Sein earlier this month did not produce the hoped-for breakthrough. With the president pushing for an early October signing, and elections on November 8, time is running out to secure a deal.
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