Take Kachin truce seriously, Myanmar told

Jan. 21, 2013 at 10:39 AM
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UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls on parties to the conflict in Myanmar's Kachin state to make a serious effort at resolving their differences.

Myanmar last week announced a unilateral cease-fire to its conflict against ethnic Kachin rebels in northern Myanmar.

In a statement issued through his spokesman, Ban said an end to a three-week offensive presented an opportunity for renewed calm in the region.

"He calls upon both sides to make serious effort to create conditions for sustained peace in Kachin through enhanced confidence-building measures and political dialogue," his statement read.

Conflict between the Myanmar military and Kachin rebels erupted in June, ending a long-standing cease-fire. The recent conflict forced an estimated 75,000 people to flee their homes.

The recent cease-fire followed a visit to the country by U.N. special adviser Vijay Nambiar, who called for a resumption of talks. There are reports, however, that the cease-fire was broken by the government Monday.

International leaders have called for an easing of sanctions against Myanmar in an effort to encourage stronger economic ties with the Asian country. General elections in 2010 moved the country toward democratic rule following years of military leadership.

Nambiar last week expressed a concern in seeing that internal issues don't "undermine the overall direction of reform and transformation in the country or adversely affect the positive international atmosphere that had been generated so far."

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