2 groups join Myanmar government's peace process

Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi, right, and Myanmar's President Htin Kyaw, left, signs documents during a ceasefire agreement at the Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. Two ethnic rebel groups have joined Myanmar's long-delayed peace process, a small step forward in ending decades of civil strife, but one that may not be significant. (AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo)

BANGKOK — Two ethnic rebel groups have joined Myanmar's long-delayed peace process, a small step forward in ending decades of civil strife.

The signings of the Nationwide Cease-fire Agreement in Myanmar's capital, Naypyitaw, on Tuesday by the New Mon State Party and the Lahu Democratic Union are the first since the original eight groups joined in 2015 under the previous military government. Aung San Suu Kyi's civilian government, which took power in 2016, pursued the process.

The government hopes to achieve a comprehensive cease-fire with all groups, but the biggest and most powerful ones, especially the Kachin and the Shan, have not signed, insisting they want a comprehensive political solution before laying down their arms.

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