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Myanmar Military Backs Gov't Peace Process With Ethnic Group
Source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-01/07/c_132085575.htm
Source Date: Monday, January 07, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Citizen Engagement
Country: Myanmar
Created: Jan 07, 2013

YANGON, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar's Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Services Vice Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing has vowed to back the government's peace process with the ethnic armed group of Kayin National Union (KNU), official media reported Monday.

"75 percent of peace process has been completed between the government and KNU and coordination would be the final stage of the process," the New Light of Myanmar quoted Min Aung Hlaing as saying.

Min Aung Hlaing expressed the military's commitment to do its fair share for peace and stability of Kayin state when he met with newly-elected KNU leader General Mutu Say Poe in Nay Pyi Taw Sunday as a follow-up discussions between President U Thein Sein and the KNU General a day earlier.

Mutu pledged to strengthen the peace process without a single thought of return, disclosing that KNU has formed seven committees after its conference, adding that it has been planned to reconstitute its peace-making committee.

The KNU leadership also expressed wish to re-discuss the principles to be observed by the two sides in details and raised mutual trust.

On Saturday when meeting with Mutu, U Thein Sein sought guarantee of lasting peace with the group, expressing the government's commitment to bringing about lasting peace during his term of office and calling for cooperation on common ground for granting equal constitutional rights to all nationalities despite political differences.

Mutu also expressed KNU's strong desire to build peace on ceasefire and negotiation, reiterating that KNU has no plan to reverse.

KNU has reached a 13-point peace agreement with the central government in April 2012 and as a follow-up, the KNU opened liaison offices in Kyaukkyi in Bago region and Myeik in Taninthayi region to facilitate links with the government.

The 13 principled points reached at central-level peace talks in Yangon then cover progressive realization of nationwide ceasefire especially in ethnic-residing regions, laying down of code of conduct with regard to ceasefire to guarantee security for civilian population and monitoring peace process in three phases -- local monitoring, international monitoring and open monitoring as well as release of Kayin political prisoners.

Other points include resettlement of homeless Kayin nationalities with guarantee of food security and livelihood security and the implementation of these programs be granted inclusive participation with transparency and accountability.

More points were agreed on issuing citizenship to displaced Kayin nationalities, rule of law and sustainable development.
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