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Published on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 19:52
The United Nations Secretary-General’s office is keeping a close eye on Kachin State’s Lajayan area after welcoming the government’s announcement to halt military operations in the area controlled by the Kachin Independence Army.
A UN spokesperson on Sunday urged both sides to lay down their weapons and seek a political solution to the conflict and to establish mutual trust to restore peace. This followed an announcement from the government on Friday that the army would cease operations in Lajayan area.
The next day the Kachin Independence Organisation said it was hoping for the best after hearing the announcement, while the KIA called on the government to cease military operations in the entire state.
Although both sides announced an end to fighting, residents say it intensified in Phakant region’s Kanci area where the KIA’s 6th regiment is based.
Since the 17-year ceasefire in Kachin State ended on June 9, 2011 there have been more than 2,400 skirmishes between government and KIA troops. Fighting began near Tarpain hydropower plant in Banmaw district. The number of displaced people is estimated at more than 165,000.