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Catholics to hold peace conference in Myanmar

The church supports national efforts to end nearly 70 years of civil war

Catholics to hold peace conference in Myanmar

Some of the participants at a peace rally calling for an end to Myanmar's civil wars. The rally was held in the city of Myitkyina, capital of Kachin State on Oct. 22. (Photo courtesy of Hkun Awng Nlam)

February 14, 2017

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The Catholic Church is holding a peace conference in Yangon in April 2017 and has invited all Myanmar's factions to attend.

"The church will participate in the peace process not only with prayers but with a peace conference as the Aung San Suu Kyi-led government prioritizes peace and she is pushing for it," Father Maurice Nyunt Wai, executive secretary of the Myanmar bishop's conference, told ucanews.com.

The peace process is a priority for Suu Kyi who initiated the Panglong peace conference in August 2016 aimed at ending decades of internal conflict. But renewed fighting in Kachin and northern Shan states is a blow to Suu Kyi's government ahead of the second Panglong peace conference, to be held on Feb. 28.

The Nobel Laureate has pledged to end hostilities in the country, which has been bedeviled with conflict for nearly 70 years.

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon recently raised concerns on the fighting in Kachin and Shan states and has offered prayers and solidarity to everyone in Myanmar, especially in Kachin, Shan and Rakhine. "Let us continue the pilgrimage to peace and not return to war," Cardinal Bo said in a Feb. 6 statement.

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