Myanmar’s Suu Kyi Seeks to Revive Peace Process

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi Seeks to Revive Peace ProcessMyanmar’s Suu Kyi Seeks to Revive Peace Process

Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi opened a new round of talks with some of the country’s myriad ethnic groups on Wednesday, looking to revive a stuttering peace process after a tough first year in power that saw the worst fighting with militants in years.

The conference came amid continued tensions among ethnic armed groups, the military and Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi, and it is unlikely to see any new groups join a landmark ceasefire accord negotiated by the previous administration, Aljazeera reported.

Ending decades of near-perpetual civil war is Suu Kyi’s stated Number one priority, which she sees as key to unlocking the resource-rich country’s potential and guaranteeing basic development for its more than 50 million people. Among issues on the agenda were whether the states that make up Myanmar would be allowed to draft their own constitutions and the status of religion.

In a last-minute boost to the conference, local media reported that several groups that have recently clashed with government troops, and whose attendance had been in question, would be joining the negotiations.

“It’s unlikely that any new groups would sign the NCA, but they will discuss a set of potential consensus points,” said Yangon-based analyst and former United Nations diplomat, Richard Horsey.

Horsey was referring to the National Ceasefire Agreement negotiated by a quasi-civilian transitional government that took office after the end of junta-rule in 2011.

“The fact that there will be more of them in the room is a positive development.”

Ethnic armed groups have complained that Suu Kyi has taken a top-down, approach to the process, unilaterally dictating the agenda, often ignoring or misunderstanding their grievances and siding too closely with the military.

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