Burma Reaches Peace Deal With Shan Minority

Posted January 17th, 2012 at 4:35 pm (UTC-5)
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Burmese media report that the government has signed a peace agreement with the armed ethnic group Shan as part of an effort at national reconciliation.

Reports Tuesday say that representatives of Shan and the central government reached an 11-point peace agreement in the Shan state capital of Taunggyi.

The signing of the deal was a follow-up to a prior peace agreement initiated at state level in December.

The 11-point agreement addresses economic issues, demarcation of areas of relocation of the ethnic militias and the opening of liaison offices.

The government made a ceasefire deal Thursday with ethnic Karen leaders.

Another large armed ethnic group, the Kachin Independence Organization, is set to hold talks with Burmese government officials Wednesday in China. Kachin leaders say fighting between their troops and government forces has displaced 60,000 people since last year.

President U Thein Sein, a former military officer, last year invited all armed ethnic groups in the country to come for peace talks to end internal armed insurrection and help build peace in the country.

Burma's new government began dialogue with the country's ethnic groups soon after taking over in March. The talks are among preconditions made by western democracies in order to remove sanctions against Burma and normalize relations.