Kachin peace within reach for Myanmar

May 31, 2013 at 9:19 AM

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, May 31 (UPI) -- The government of Myanmar announced it would release ethnic Kachin detainees after moving to remove a separatist group from a sanctions list, a minister said.

Myanmar has received international recognition for political reforms that started with general elections in 2010. Its human rights record and the fighting in Kachin and Rakhine have overshadowed the political developments, however.

The government in Myanmar declared a unilateral cease-fire in January following three weeks of clashes with Kachin separatists. Myanmar peace negotiator Aung Min said the Myanmar government is removing the Kachin independence group from a list of unlawful organizations.

He said now that peace was established in the northern state, those arrested under the government's Unlawful Association Act must be released, Thai newspaper The Irrawaddy reports.

Min met with delegates from the United Nations this week along with military officials. He said those displaced by conflict in Kachin state can return home.

The United Nations estimates that at least 75,000 people were displaced by fighting in Kachin.

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