Myanmar mulls national cease-fire

Sept. 10, 2013 at 12:11 PM
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NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- A presidential council in Myanmar said the government planned to lay out plans for a national cease-fire agreement by next month.

Members of the United Nationalities Federal Council, a group of 11 armed ethnic groups, met with presidential envoy Aung Min to discuss a comprehensive peace agreement.

Myanmar received international praise for political reforms that began with general elections in 2010. Tomas Ojea Quintana, U.N. special envoy to Myanmar, said he observed "positive changes" during his nationwide tour of the country last month.

Quintana said he had lingering concerns over rivalries between ethnic and religious groups in the country. In the restive states of Rakhine and Kachin, the envoy expressed a general sense of frustration over the lack of attention to reconciliation.

Aung Min was quoted by Thai newspaper The Irrawaddy as saying plans were under way for a comprehensive truce.

"After all the ethnic armed groups sign cease-fire agreements, we need to sign a nationwide cease-fire accord," he said Tuesday. "We plan to organize the nationwide cease-fire accord in October."

The Irrawaddy reported the rebel council said it was unlikely anything would come of the October meeting.

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