Government, rebels sign ceasefire
Karenni leader says far to go for lasting peace but talks were positive
The talks in Loikaw yesterday
ucanews.com reporter, Loikaw
March 8, 2012
A government peace negotiation team and the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) signed a ceasefire agreement yesterday as a preliminary step towards agreement for a lasting peace through mutual trust. Representatives from the UN High Commission for Refugees, British Council and the US embassy attended the meeting as international observers. Railways minister U Aung Min led the government-initiated team and Khu Oo Reh led negotiations for the KNPP at the meeting in Loikaw. They signed a three point agreement covering a ceasefire, establishment of liaison offices and a pledge to meet again for further talks. Bishop Sotero Phamo and a priest from Loikaw Diocese also joined in the meeting as observers. Khu Oo Reh told ucanews.com: "this time things went better than when we met in 1993, 94 and 95 because of the new civilian government's reforms and policy. But it is too early to say that we reached a satisfactory [outcome]." "It is yet to be decided where and when we will meet again for further talks but I hope we will decide as soon as possible," he said. KNPP leaders and the government's peace team also met in Chiang Mai, Thailand in February. In 1995, the military government and the KNPP signed a ceasefire agreement but it broke down after three months.