Laiza, Myanmar - The first conference of Myanmar's numerous ethnic insurgents on a nationwide ceasefire with the government started Wednesday.
Khun Okkar, centre, secretary of the United Nationalities Federal Council, talks to media at the end of the first day of Ethnic Armed Organisations Conference in Laiza, Kachin State, Myanmar, on Wednesday. (EPA photo)
``On Thursday, we will discuss the nationwide ceasefire draft proposed by government,'' he said.
The conference, the first of its kind, was due to wind up Friday with a consensus among the insurgents on a nationwide ceasefire.
It is being held in Laiza, a town in Kachin State, 890 kilometres north of Yangon.
Since coming to power in March 2011, President Thein Sein's government has signed bilateral ceasefire agreements with nearly all of the insurgent groups and announced plans for a nationwide accord for early 2014.
Numerous ethnic minority groups have been fighting for semi-autonomy in their traditional territories such as the Karen, Kachin and Mon states for decades.
The rebel groups will seek political solutions to their struggles such as guarantees of rights to control their own natural resources and partial self-rule.
Some representatives in Laiza said they opposed the government's draft proposal on a nationwide ceasefire.
``According to their proposed draft, we can't get equal rights and a real federal system can't be built,'' said Maj Sai La of the Shan State Army.
Ending military assaults on ethnic minorities was a key demand among Western democracies when they lifted economic sanctions on Myanmar.
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