Four armed ethnic groups in Myanmar have expressed willingness to sign a nationwide cease-fire agreement (NCA) with the government, according to a joint press release issuedby the groups on Tuesday Xinhua reported on 18 August.

The decision of the four groups –the Karen National Union (KNU), the Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army (DKBA), the Kayin National Liberation Army – Peace Council (KNLA-PC) and the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) suggeststhat the NCA could be signed before the end of the month.

By signing the pact, signatories will get some guarantees from the government which cover the continued holding of arms for self-defence, removal from the list of unlawful organizations, joint implementation of a code of conduct, joint monitoring of the cease-fire to prevent recurrence of clashes, a meeting for political dialogue,and changes to the 2008 constitution.

The four groups believed that those groups, not included yet in the signing, should seek practical ways to settle political issues through political means, the release added.