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Published on Friday, 04 January 2013 15:46
Myanmar has announced today that peace negotiations with KIO/KIA would be continued as clashes between the government troops and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) have escalated since December.
In its statement, government information team said ''The Government will continue to strive to achieve everlasting peace with all nationalities armed groups for nation reconciliation and national Unity . Peace negotiations with KIO/KIA will also be continued.''
''The Government always welcomes to work together with all national races and the entire people of Myanmar to achieve success in democratization process, sustainable development for the people and for the prevalence of peace and rule of law.''
The government troops cleared and occupied Point-771 hill and its surrounding areas in Kachin State where the KIO/KIA troops were taking position on December 30. The New Light of Myanmar, a government mouthpiece, said. “The air cover was used in the attack.”
The government information team said ''Although instruction has been given to the Tatmadaw (government troops) to cease all offensive against the KIO/KIA, KIA constantly blasted mines to destroy railroads, roads and bridges, hampering the businesses, destroyed electricity gridlines and frequently laid landmines and ambushed security forces. Due to these circumstances, the Tatmadaw had to take military action as self defense and in order to protect the safety of lives and properties of the people, safe and smooth transportation and peace and tranquility of the region. Even though Tatmadaw had to take this action, it has exercised with maximum restraint in using force.''
President Thein Sein sent an official order to the Chief of Defence (Army) on December 10, 2011 to halt the offensives in Kachin State.
Kachin has been affected by ethnic conflict after Myanmar regained its independence in 1948. The Burma Socialist Programme Party negotiated with the Kachin Independent Council in June 1963 but talks failed.
There was a ceasefire between the two sides for 10 months from August 1980 to May 1981.
Negotiations were made between the military and Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) on Oct 18, 1990. According to records, the government and KIO held peace talks on Dec 24, 1992, and the armistice was signed on Feb 24, 1994.
The ongoing armed conflict between the army and KIA started in June last year, when fighting broke out after a 17-year ceasefire agreement fell apart.
Fighting between the government troops and KIA occurred 2,400 times from June 2011 to December 2012, and despite union-level peace talks last year, the armed clashes did not stop.
Clashes in northern Myanmar have escalated since December, resulting in a rising number of civilian deaths and a large-scale of internal displacement.
The number of internal displaced persons has increased to 160,000 by December amid the escalating clashes.
There are more than 30 IDPs camps along the Myanamr-China border.
Local people in Kachin State wish the cessation of armed conflicts which are threatening mainly to women and children.