YANGON, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Another two ethnic armed groups are scheduled to ceremonially sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Accord (NCA) with the Myanmar government in Nay Pyi Taw on Feb. 13, Myanmar News Agency reported Tuesday.
The New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Lahu Democratic Union (LDU) will be the first two armed groups signing the NCA with the incumbent government, led by the National League for Democracy (NLD).
The two armed groups announced their decision to join the ceasefire accord following their meetings separately with State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Services Sen-Gen Min Aung Hlaing on Jan 23.
Efforts will continue for other non-signatories to follow suit, said U Kyaw Tint Swe, vice chairman of the National Reconciliation and Peace and Center (NRPC) and minister of the Office of the State Counselor.
NMSP, led by Nai Htaw Mon, and LDU, headed by Kya Khun Sar, are members of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), which represents the non-ceasefire signatory group.
The planned signing of the NCA by the two armed groups would bring the total number of such signatories to 10, who are said to be allowed to participate in the upcoming third meeting of the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference.
More than two years ago during the tenure of the previous U Thein Sein's government, a total of 8 ethnic armed groups signed the NCA on Oct. 15, 2015.
Following the initiation of the NCA, the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conferences were held twice during the incumbent government in August 2016 and May 2017 respectively.
The third meeting of the Panglong Peace Conference is likely scheduled for later this month to further discuss unfinished fundamental principles on federalism as well as the formulation of new principles.
Suu Kyi has called for all inclusiveness in the national reconciliation and peace process, encouraing non-ceasefire signatory armed groups to sign NCA and formulate the principles toward a democratic federal union in the future.
Several other groups which have not yet signed the NCA include the Kayinni National Progressive Party (KNPP), the Arakan National Council (ANC), the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).