• Myanmar signs limited truce with rebels, but fighting persists

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    YANGON: Myanmar on Thursday signed a ceasefire with eight ethnic minority armies in a step towards ending decades of civil war, a move weakened by the refusal of several other rebel groups to join the deal. The truce is the fruit of more than two years of negotiations and was a key goal of reformist President Thein Sein ahead of November elections, which are likely to sweep his army-backed party from power. Thein Sein inked the agreement in the remote capital Naypyidaw in a televised signing ceremony attended by the army chief and rebel representatives in ethnic dress. In a statement, the US State Department welcomed “a critical first step in a long process of building a sustainable and just peace in Burma [Myanmar].” But added: “We remain concerned by reports of continued military offensives in Kachin and Shan States and the lack of humanitarian access to many of the more than 100,000 internally displaced persons in those areas.”

    AFP

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