Myanmar signs peace deal with 8 rebel groups hinh anh 1Scene at the negotiation between the Union Peacemaking Working Committee and local rebel forces on July 22. (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)
Myanmar's government signed its long-awaited Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with eight of 15 rebel forces on October 15.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon lauded the move and urged all sides involved, including insurgent groups that declined to ink the pact, to co-operate with the goal of restoring national peace.

He said he considered the deal a step toward political reform and a reconciling between Myanmar’s different ethnic groups. The UN was willing to help with the process, he added.

Myanmar’s peace negotiation process began in November 2003, when the Union Peacemaking Working Committee (UPWC) and the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) met in Myitgyina, the capital of Kachin State – the first time a national ceasefire accord has come under discussion.

The ninth and final round of negotiations between the UPWC and the NCCT took place in Yangon in August.

The nation’s 2015 general election is scheduled to take place on November 8.-VNA