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Despite ceasefire, fighting goes on in northern Myanmar

5 years ago344 views

reuters

Reuters

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)

STORY: Myanmar's president said on Sunday he wanted peace talks with all ethnic rebel groups in the country, but government troops again attacked rebel positions in Kachin State in the northeast despite his order to cease fire, rebels and a local source said.

Thein Sein had issued the ceasefire order on Friday to troops in the La Ja Yang area of Kachin State near the border with China, where fighting has been fiercest.

It was due to take effect on Saturday morning, but the army continued to attack over the weekend.

A 17-year ceasefire with the KIA broke down in June 2011 and fighting has been particularly intense in recent weeks.

Twenty months of fighting has displaced tens of thousands of people and, for some analysts, raised doubts about the sincerity of all the political and economic reforms pursued by Thein Sein in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

On Saturday, addressing a development forum attended by donor countries and international aid organizations, Thein Sein had invited the Kachin rebels to a "political dialogue" with the government and ethnic rebel groups from other states. No date was given for the meetings.