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On 15 October, the government of Myanmar and eight Ethnic Armed Organizations signed a long-awaited joint ceasefire agreement. The event marked the culmination of more than two years of negotiations between the government and a consortium of Ethnic Armed Organizations. In the capital city of Naypyitaw, Myanmar’s President, the Army Commander-in-Chief, parliamentary leaders and the leaders of the eight Ethnic Armed Organizations signed the agreement in the presence of six international and 20 domestic witnesses.

Even though a number of Ethnic Armed Organizations that have been part of the negotiations have decided to not to sign the agreement at this time, it is an important step towards securing a just and sustainable peace in Myanmar. The signing of the ceasefire agreement opens the door to a political dialogue process, which aims to address the underlying causes of the armed conflict that has lasted more than 60 years in Myanmar.

Having been active in the country since 2012, to provide technical support to various actors on ceasefire monitoring and the protection of civilians in support of the peace process, Nonviolent Peaceforce welcomes the signing of the agreement and is ready to extend our support to all the parties as they enter into this new phase. It will take the dedication and active participation of all people, including the most vulnerable conflict-affected communities, to ensure that the peace process is successful. The people of Myanmar deserve real peace and the opportunity to build the country that they have envisioned. The Nonviolent Peaceforce team is committed to supporting the people of Myanmar in realizing this vision.

Photo credit: REUTERS/SOE ZEYA TUN.