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“We Have Seen This Before”: Burma’s Fragile Peace Process

By Burma Partnership  •  October 2, 2012

Since President Thein Sein came to power, Burma has been undergoing some limited, yet reversible, democratic reforms. In tandem with these reforms are peace negotiation attempts that started in late 2011 resulting in preliminary ceasefires being signed with most major ethnic non-state armed groups. However, armed clashes continue between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Army, as well as with several groups that have signed preliminary ceasefires including the Shan State Army – North, Shan State Army – South, the Karen National Liberation Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army.

Due to the lack of political dialogue, little progress has been made in the peace process to date. The process has been one-sided, divisive and has failed to lay solid foundations for sustainable peace. From both civil society and ethnic non-state armed groups, however, the message has been clear: a development agenda cannot be a substitute for a political settlement.

This briefing paper looks at the different peace plans put forward by the government and ethnic non-state armed groups, the need for political dialogue, problematic negotiation processes and ceasefire agreements, continuing human rights violations and serious concerns about peace fund initiatives. It also includes recommendations to the Government of Burma, to ethnic non-state armed groups and to the international community.

Download the briefing paper here.

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This post is in: Ethnic Nationalities, Spotlight

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