KNPP Discusses Withdrawal From UNFC

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The ethnic alliance is shrinking as various organizations announce their departure.

By KANTARAWADDY TIMES

The Karenni National Progressive Party’s (KNPP) central committee members made an unconfirmed decision in a recent meeting in meeting to withdraw from the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), a coalition of ethnic armed organizations.

“We are going to leave the UNFC. It’s still not confirmed. Only a few organizations are left in the UNFC. Our central committee members said it is better to leave. I still cannot confirm it,” KNPP Secretary (2) Khu Daniel told Kantarawaddy.

The remaining UNFC members are the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), the New Mon State Party (NMSP), the Lahu Democratic Union (LDU), the Arakan National Council (ANC), and the KNPP. However, the SSPP/SSA has said since 2017 that it plans to withdraw, and the NMSP and LDU have also said they will leave since signing the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with the Burmese government and military last year.

Political Observer Kyaw Htin Aung said that, essentially, the only members of the UNFC are the Karenni and Arakanese organizations.

“Only the KNPP and ANC are left in the UNFC. The NMSP and LDU already signed the NCA. SSPP joined the FPNCC [Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee]. They have already proposed resigning from the UNFC,” Kyaw Htin Aung told Kantarawaddy. “That is why KNPP re-started bilateral talks with the government. I think a solution will come out from the upcoming EAO [ethnic armed organization] summit on March 31.”

The Burmese government’s Peace Commission and the KNPP met in an informal meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on March 10.

However, any future signing of the NCA by the KNPP would depend on the results of political negotiations, Khu Daniel said.

“Regarding the signing of the NCA, it depends on dialogue. I don’t what outcome we will get from the meeting. If we get our proposed points, we may sign the NCA,” he explained.

KNPP has tried to negotiate with the government concerning the controversial ceasefire accord, and until a formal withdrawal, will continue to remain a member of the UNFC.

The group signed state- and Union-level bilateral ceasefire agreements with the government in 2012.

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