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Shan ethnic group, Myanmar gov't ink peace deal

(Xinhua)

09:32, January 18, 2012

YANGON, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- A Shan ethnic armed group, the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) of the Shan State Army- South (SSA-South), in Myanmar's northeastrern Shan state has reached an 11-point peace pact with the central government in Taunggyi, Shan state, state radio and TV reported Tuesday night.

The signing at the central level on Monday was a follow-up of a prior peace agreement initiated at state level in December last year.

The talks at the central level were represented by government delegation, led by Minister of Rail Transportation U Aung Min, and RCSS delegation, headed by U Sai Paun Kay, the report said.

The 11-point agreement dealt with economic issues, demarcartion of areas of relocation of the RCSS and opening of liaison offices, the report added.

Up to now, four ethnic armed groups including the RCSS of SSA- South have reached peace pacts with the central government. The others are the United Wa State Army (UWSA) in Shan State (North) Special Region-2, the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) in Mongla Special Region-4 and Koloh Htoo Baw armed group in Kayin state.

Those armed groups having reached preliminary peace agreements with the state governments are Chin National Front (CNF) in Myanmar's northwestern Chin state in December-January and the largest armed group of Kayin National Union (KNU) in Kayin state on Jan. 12.

President U Thein Sein made a peace offer to ethnic armed groups in the country on Aug. 18, 2011, calling on them to come for peace talks through region or state-level governments to end internal armed insurrection and build peace in the country.

Under the president's peace offer, peace making is being carried out in three phases -- the first phase is to ceasefire, set up liaison offices and travel without holding arms to each other's territory; the second phase is confidence building, holding political dialogue, implementing regional development tasks in terms of education, health and communication; and the third phase is to sign agreement for eternal peace in the presence of the parliament.

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