U.N. tells Myanmar to secure peace

March 15, 2013 at 12:22 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, March 15 (UPI) -- Myanmar is called on to find a way to broker a lasting cease-fire with separatists in Kachin state, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

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

U.N. special envoy on human rights Tomas Ojea Quintana said Myanmar was falling short on reform efforts. His sentiment was backed by Ban, who expressed concern about the plight of the estimated 75,000 people displaced by fighting in Kachin.

"The secretary-general encourages the parties to reach a cease-fire and to redouble their efforts toward a fair, genuine and durable solution so that all of Myanmar can achieve peace for the first time since the country's independence," a statement issued through Ban's office read.

The government in Myanmar declared a unilateral cease-fire in January following three weeks of clashes with Kachin separatists. Both sides in China last month agreed to broker a long-term deal.

"The secretary-general welcomes the efforts of all sides to make this happen," his statement read.

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