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Peace talks between Myanmar gov't, armed group make a step forward

12-29-2011 14:42 BJT

by Feng Yingqiu

YANGON, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Peace talks between Myanmar's central government and the Wa ethnic armed group, based in Wa Special Region-2 in northeastern Shan state, have made a step forward by holding their second round of the talks in Pansan, Shan state on Monday and the event was officially disclosed on Wednesday.

In the peace talks, the central government's peace making group was led by U Aung Thaung, while that of the Wa group was headed by its chairman U Pauk Yu Chang.

The two sides agreed to continue discussing on Wa representatives' participation in parliamentary affairs under a six-point agreement signed after the talks.

The agreement also includes increased cooperation between the central government and the Wa group in defense and security with the Wa group assuring not to disintegrate from the union.

The others covered by the agreement include long- and short-term aid to be rendered by the government for the socio-economic development, human resources development and health and education development in the Wa region.

The two sides initiated the first peace talks in Lashio, northern Shan state, in October, during which an agreement on reopening the offices of education, health and communication from both sides, cooperating with the government in drug elimination, promoting the development of border areas and undertaking basic economic needs of both sides had been signed.

Shan State (North) Special Region-2 was the area where the United Wa State Army (UWSA), led by U Pauk Yu Chang, was resettled after it returned to the legal fold in May 1989.

Up to now, two other ethnic armed groups had also reached peace pacts respectively with the central government, namely the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) in Mongla Special Region- 4 and Koloh Htoo Baw armed group in Kayin state.

The central government's initial peace talks with the NDAA in the Mongla Special Region-4 took place in Kyaing Tong in eastern Shan state in October, producing a similar agreement to that with the UWSA.

Shan State (East) Special Region-4 (Mongla) was the area where the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) was resettled in June 1989.

The Kaloh Htoo Baw armed group, in its first round of negotiation held at the central level on Dec. 11, represented by government delegation, led by U Aung Thaung, and Kaloh Htoo Baw armed group delegation, headed by U Saw Lar Pwe, a six-point peace agreement was also endorsed which covered settlement of Kaloh Htoo Baw armed group members in Sukali/Sone Hsi Myaing region, joint combating of narcotic drugs and continued talks for establishing eternal peace.

The Kaloh Htoo Baw armed group was former Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army (DKBA).

Still three other armed groups are negotiating with state or central government's peace making groups. They are Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) of Shan State Army (SSA)-South, Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Kayin National Union (KNU), the biggest armed group.

On Nov. 29, the KIA initiated peace talks with the central government in Ruili, a Chinese border town in southwest China's Ruili linking Myanmar's Muse.

In the midst, Myanmar President U Thein Sein ordered the government forces to stop offensive against ethnic armed groups in northern Kachin state when peace negotiation process is underway.

The armed clashes between the government forces and the KIA started in June and the fighting intensified in August and intermittent battles have been taking place since then forcing over 14,000 people fleeing the conflicts according to an official report.

Meanwhile, KNU, which is the biggest armed group in Myanmar operating on the Myanmar-Thai border, is expected to sign a ceasefire agreement with the central government by mid-January 2012.

Myanmar's central government, in its peace efforts, issued an announcement on Aug. 18, calling on anti-government ethnic armed groups to come for peace talks through region or state level to end internal armed insurrection and build internal peace in the country.

The government claimed that since 1994, 17 major anti-government ethnic armed groups and 23 other small groups have made peace with the government.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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