Karenni army inks ceasefire deal

The Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) is the latest armed ethnic group to sign a ceasefire pact after meeting with government representatives in eastern Burma today.

Railway Minister Aung Min, who has been responsible for striking similar deals with several other ethnic groups in recent months, led the government delegation during talks in the Karenni state capital of Loikaw.

According to Minister of Energy and delegate member Than Htay, the agreement specified that the group would lay down their arms, open liaison offices in the state’s seven townships and hold additional talks in the future.

“They proposed 20 topics that need to be discussed during the next meeting,” said Than Htay. “We will take the proposal back with us and prepare to discuss the issue during the coming week.”

Several groups have yet to agree to any such deals, most notably Kachin rebels in the far north of the country.

“As of today we have reached agreements with the KNPP, and previously with the Shan State Army, the New Mon State Party and the Karen National Party,” said Than Htay. “Only the [Kachin] remain and we are working on them,” said Than Htay.

While these agreements continue to make headlines, such deals often prove fragile. In late February, five people were killed during a skirmish between government forces and Shan State Army – South troops after a tentative pact had been signed.

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