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Myanmar, rebels agree to cease-fire
Myanmar has reached a preliminary cease-fire agreement with Kachin rebels fighting near the border with China and India, raising hopes for an end to two years of conflict that has overshadowed reforms taking place in the Southeast Asian nation.
The two sides agreed to undertake efforts to achieve a cessation of hostilities, establish joint monitoring committees, and rehabilitate and resettle people displaced in the war.
The war in northern Kachin state erupted in June 2011 following the breakdown of a 17-year cease-fire between the government and the rebels. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the fighting over the past two years.
Human rights groups have accused both sides of committing atrocities during the war.
Myanmarese President Thein Sein briefed President Obama, on a visit to Washington last week, on his government’s efforts to end conflicts with ethnic minorities.
The Obama administration began normalizing ties with Myanmar in 2011 as Thein Sein’s government has taken steps toward reform, including releasing more than 850 political prisoners, easing restrictions on the media, and allowing freedom of speech, assembly and movement.
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About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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