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No hasty ceasefire, says KIO


Representatives of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and the Myanmar government talked until midnight on Monday in the Chinese border town of Ruili, but although they did not reach a ceasefire agreement both sides agreed to meet again before April 10, according to a joint statement.

Kachin Independence Organizations representatives meeting with a Myanmar government peace negotiation team in Shweli in China’s Yunnan Province on Monday, March 11, 2013. (Photo: Hla Mg Shwe / Facebook)
Kachin Independence Organizations representatives meeting with a Myanmar government peace negotiation team in Shweli in China’s Yunnan Province on Monday, March 11, 2013. (Photo: Hla Mg Shwe / Facebook)
“What they want and what we want are two different things,” said Doi Pi Sar, a non-military official of the KIO. “Their primary goal is the signing of a ceasefire agreement. However, judging by our past experiences, the hasty signing of a ceasefire agreement is not in our interests.

“We need to continue holding discussions until we are in a situation where a ceasefire agreement is the correct course of action,” he said. “Our differences cannot be solved by just one meeting. So, we have agreed to meet again.”

The joint statement says that both sides agree to monitor flashpoint areas where fighting has broken out in the past, and to open liaison offices. The March 11 statement also says that both sides agree to hold genuine political dialogue.

The government’s peace delegation was led by Union Peacemaking Committee vice-chairman Minister Aung Min and Lt-Gen. Myint Soe. The KIO was represented by central committee member Sumlut Gam and KIO Deputy Chief of Staff Brig-Gen. Gum Maw.

Three Chinese diplomats attended the talks, including Wang Zongying from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also observing were: four representatives from the United Nationalities Federal Council; two members of the Shan State Progress Party; two from the Restoration Council of Shan State; two representatives of the National Democratic Alliance Army; and four delegates from the Peace-talk Creation Group.

Peace broker Hla Maung Shwe told Mizzima: “I would like to say that this was the most fruitful meeting in the past 10 months.”


For more background:
  1. KIO postpones talks with govt peace committee
  2. KIO accuse Burmese army of breaking ceasefire
 
The Kachin’s last stand
Since October this year, Burma has been in a state of civil war, with fighting between Burmese military and armed ethnic rebels. The ruling junta started a crackdown on these armed groups.

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