The Joint Monitoring Committees (JMCs) on Ceasefire held their second general meeting in Lotte Hotel, Yangon, yesterday morning.
At the general meeting, Lt-Gen Yar Pyae, chairman of the Joint Monitoring Committee at Union Level (JMC-U), said that in addition to conducting military matters according to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), many other matters remained to be completed. He urged the committees to continue with discussions and negotiations.
The general meeting will be held for two days until 9 May and will be attended by chairmen and members of JMC-U, Joint Monitoring Committee at Region and State Levels (JMC-S) and Joint Monitoring Committee Local-level (JMC-L); members of technical assistance offices of the JMCs, ambassadors to Myanmar and representatives of international organisations.
JMC-U Chairman Lt-Gen Yar Pyae said, “All levels of JMCs attempted to reduce armed conflicts among armed organisations, and it can be seen that a level of success has been achieved. However, armed conflicts were observed in some areas of organisations that had signed the NCA. With regard to this, at the 12th JMC-U meeting, commanders from both sides are being instructed to meet within the JMC-S. However, there are weaknesses in JMC-S, and I would like to urge commanders from both sides to build trust after each meeting and prevent conflicts.”
“For the JMC works to progress and develop further, the JMCs need to work more to form more JMC-Ls and Local Civilians Monitoring (LCM) groups in the conflict areas. As these are to be conducted by JMC-S, I urge JMC-S to make more efforts towards these,” said the JMC-U Chairman.
The works of the JMCs are different from how it is done in other countries. Instead of allowing foreigners from foreign third-party organisations as monitors, our monitors are representatives of the conflict-affected people. The participation and involvement of these civilian representatives are very important, added the JMC-U chairman.
The JMC is conducting monitoring, assessing and conflict resolution. JMCs will monitor pledges made in the agreement. If required, assessment groups will be formed to assess and confirm. Civilian representatives respected by the people are conducting these works.
Representatives from armed organisations also participate in this work; so all need to understand and follow the work processes. The members of the JMCs at all levels are urged to openly discuss the difficulties and problems faced, said the JMC-U chairman in his greeting speech.
The JMC will continue to form JMC-Ss in Shan, Kayin, Bago, Mon and Taninthayi and JMC-Ls in Langkho, Shan State, Hpapun, Kayin State.
JMC-U Vice Chairman Saw Isaac Po said: “Our JMCs are formed with three groups consisting of the Tatmadaw, ethnic armed organisations and civilians. The civilian group is recognised as a neutral group. In the work guideline of the JMC, the aims of the JMCs at all levels are to reduce and eliminate armed conflicts and to successfully hold political discussions. Trust-building is the main step to eliminate armed conflicts.”
The three groups are responsible for the successful implementation of the JMC work. Progress or regress of the JMC work depends on these three groups. The real life situation had shown that regress in the JMC work will result in the loss of lives and limbs of armed organisation members from both sides and the local populace will face miseries (and death) while avoiding armed conflicts as displaced persons, said the JMC-U vice chairman.
According to the general meeting, 411 complaints were received by all levels of JMCs and some 334 were resolved.
JMC-U Vice Chairman (2) U Pyae Sone said, “After the JMC was formed, armed conflicts in some region were reduced and some were totally eliminated. In some regions, there were armed engagements at the lower levels. This shouldn’t be of much concern, but it shouldn’t be ignored either. Civilian representatives at all levels of the JMC need to be united. They must be neutral and not biased against any of the two sides. They need to build trust between the two sides by arranging to get to know each other. This is creating trust through knowing one another.”
After representatives from the government, ethnic armed organisations and civilians delivered the greeting speeches, JMC-S Shan, JMC-L Langkho JMC-S Kayin, JMC-L Hpapun, JMC-S Bago, JMC-S Mon and JMC-S Taninthayi delivered speeches of greetings.
In the day’s JMC general meeting, a video of the two-year works undertaken by all levels of the JMCs was shown. Discussions were also held on the difficulties faced and the challenges that were overcome to implement the ceasefire.
By Ye Khaung Nyunt