14 March 2013 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the outcome of the recent discussions in China between Myanmar’s peacemaking committee and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and their agreement to work toward a lasting ceasefire.
“The Secretary-General encourages the parties to reach a ceasefire and to redouble their efforts toward a fair, genuine and durable solution so that all of Myanmar can achieve peace for the first time since the country’s independence,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.
In January, authorities in Myanmar announced a unilateral ceasefire following a three-week offensive against ethnic Kachin rebel fighters. Some 75,000 people have fled their homes in Kachin since fighting began in June 2011 between Government troops and rebels.
At their talks in China last month, the two sides agreed to work on an overall framework for de-escalation of the violent conflict in Kachin and for monitoring such de-escalation.
In the statement, Mr. Ban hoped that the decision to establish liaison offices will improve coordination and monitoring of developments and facilitate the implementation of previous agreements.
“The Secretary-General welcomes the efforts of all sides to make this happen,” it added.
Also, with both sides agreeing to expedite humanitarian relief to internally displaced persons, Mr. Ban expects that aid for those in need can now be delivered to all areas in Kachin, the statement noted, adding that the UN remains available as needed to assist in these efforts.
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