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Published on Sunday, 20 January 2013 22:33
President U Thein Sein has invited Kachin Independence Organization/Kachin Independence Army and other ethnic armed groups to hold ‘political dialogues’.
Speaking at the 1st the Myanmar Development Cooperation Forum held in Nay Pyi Taw on January 19, Thein Sein said the peace talks with other armed groups are scheduled in early 2013 after making armistice agreements.
“Our government will make genuine and lasting peace with KIO/KIA. It has been planned to hold ‘political dialogues’ in early 2013, he said.
The government is optimistic that KIA will accept peace proposal as the order has been issued to stop military operation against the rebels, he said.
“Peace is essential for the stability of state. Our administration will try for lasting peace. It is very important to create job opportunities in order to improve social-economic conditions of internally displaced persons and cease groups,” he said.
Thein Sein also acknowledged the donor countries and organisations for their contributions in peace-making activities of the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC).
MPC officially opened in October in Yangon with the support of the Peace Donor Support Group, comprising Norway, the European Union and United Nations agencies.
Peace and stability is intertwined with socio-economic development. Thus, the socio-economy of a nation will develop only if peace and stability prevails, he said. Unity and diversity, both similarities and differences must be accepted, the president added.
Fighting between the government army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) resumed in June 2011 when a 17-year-old truce broke. Renewed clashes started to break out around the area of Tapein hydro-power plant in Moemauk Township, Bhamo District, Kachin State.
More than 2,400 skirmishes occurred from June 2011 to December 2012, forcing more than 165,000 people to live in refugee camps – nearly 100,000 in the government-controlled area and over 65,000 in the KIA-controlled area.