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Ethnic Armed Groups Must Ask Before Contacting International Community: Myanmar Peace Commission

New Delhi, September 21, 2019:

Myanmar’s Peace Commission said that ethnic armed groups which signed the 2015 Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) would have to first get the permission from the National Reconciliation and Peace Center prior to seeking aid donations.

Peace Commission Secretary U Khin Zaw Oo said that they ought to know regarding the development on the issue. He added that the Center should be consulted when any ethnic armed organization contacts the international community, including foreign embassies, UN agencies and international NGOs.

Most of the projects proposed by ethnic armed groups have been agreed to by the government and the Peace Commission had permitted for most of them. However, U Khin said that the government wants to know how much money they receive. He added that they need to take responsibility and be accountable for the money they receive and whether they use that money to work for peace or not.

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U Khin Zaw Oo also expressed the concern as to how the ethnic armed groups might misuse the money aided by the international community.

He added that other countries had donated a lot of money to help Myanmar work towards peace but little of it has gone to the government.

“Our government has received only a fourth of the money. We do not know where the other 75 percent has been going,” he said.

As per reports, even ministries and state governments are not allowed to contact the international community without permission.

It is to be mentioned here that the Myanmar government has been working with ethnic armed groups to establish a federalist system for the country.

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