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Asia-Pacific

Ceasefire between Myanmar government and Karen rebels seeks to end decades of fighting

media General Saw Jawni from the Karen National Union signs the ceasefire agreement Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun

After decades of fighting, Myanmar’s government and senior members of the Karen National Union, KNU, have signed a ceasefire in the latest of the country’s apparent bids to reform.

 

A delegation of ministers from the capital Naypyidaw and KNU members signed the pact on Tuesday in Hpa-an, capital of war-torn eastern Karen state.

“The president has said we brothers have been angry at each other for 63 years and he asked us to give the KNU what they want,” said Immigration Minister Khin Yi at the signing ceremony.

Karen state is the scene of Myanmar’s oldest insurgency which has forced tens of thousands of refugese to flee the country and live in camps across the border in Thailand.

Although the peace deal with the KNU marks a major breakthrough with one of the most prominent ethnic rebel groups, tensions remain with other ethnic factions, who largely seek greater autonomy and rights.

Fighting in northern Kachin state between the army and rebels since June last year has displaced tens of thousands of people.

 

 

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