Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement
On coming to power, Thein Sein made putting an end to the civil wars that have plagued Myanmar in the modern era a top priority. In October 2015, weeks before the national elections, a ceasefire deal was signed with eight out of the 16 main rebel ethnic groups that had participated in the previous four years of negotiations. The door was also left open for political dialogue and inclusion of other ethnic groups at a later point in time.
Thein Sein claimed the so-called Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) an 'historic gift from us to the generations of the future'. This neatly ignored the fact that the Kachin Independence Army, Shan State Army and United Wa State Army had refused to sign and that these key rebel armies continued to control the most territory and arms. As the date of the election approached, the Tatmadaw was still fighting these rebel groups on several fronts.