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KNU armed group opens liaison office in Myanmar’s Kyaukkyi amid talks

YANGON, April 11 (Xinhua) — Peace-making Kayin National Union (KNU) ethnic armed group has opened a liaison office in Kyaukkyi, Toungoo district of Bago region as agreed in peace talks with the government, official media reported Wednesday.

The set-up of KNU’s liaison office to facilitate links with the government came days after peace talks between Myanmar government’ s peace making group and the KNU delegation at central level was held in Yangon on last Friday, in which some 13 points were reached.

The KNU liaison office was jointly opened by leader of the government’s peace making group and Minister of Rails Transportation U Aung Min, Bago region Security and Border Affairs Minister Colonel Thet Tun and leader of the KNU delegation Madame Naw Sipora Sein, who is KNU Secretary-General, said the New Light of Myanmar.

The opening was followed by continued talks between the two sides at state level, focusing on perpetuation of the ceasefire and establishment of liaison offices.

The 13 principled points reached at central-level peace talks in Yangon cover progressive realization of nationwide ceasefire especially in ethnic-residing regions, laying down of code of conduct with regard to ceasefire to guarantee security for civilian population and monitoring peace process in three phases — local monitoring, international monitoring and open monitoring as well as release of Kayin political prisoners.

Other points include resettlement of homeless Kayin nationalities with guarantee of food security and livelihood security and the implementation of these programs be granted inclusive participation with transparency and accountability.

More points were agreed on issuing citizenship to displaced Kayin nationalities, rule of law and sustainable development.

On the sideline of the talks, Myanmar President U Thein Sein met with the KNU peace making delegation in Nay Pyi Taw last Saturday, signifying a first historic meeting between the head of the government and an anti-government ethnic armed group.

The KNU delegation also met for the first time with leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon who has become a parliament representative-elect in the April 1 by- elections.

In addition to Kyaukkyi, the KNU peace making delegation is also traveling to Mu Theh in Bago region and Daewei in Tanintharyi region to observe the opening of a humanitarian assistance office and meet with regional people affected by conflict for years.

KNU is seen as the biggest anti-government ethnic armed group in Myanmar’s Kayin state having fought the government for over six decades since Myanmar’s independence.

So far since the president’s peace offer was extended in August last year, a total of 11 armed groups have respectively signed preliminary peace agreements with the government at state or central level.

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