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Ethnic Karenni cease-fire talks wit
- Subject: Ethnic Karenni cease-fire talks wit
- From: nin@xxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 08:38:00
CHIANG MAI, Thailand (AP) _ Cease-fire talks between Myanmar's military
regime and ethnic Karenni rebels suffered a setback Friday when the
guerrillas' military wing withdrew support the group's delegation.
Aung Mya, military commander of the Karenni National Progressive Party,
said Friday the six-man delegation that left for the Myanmar capital last
week does not have his backing or approval of the central committee.
The internal split could undermine the effectiveness of any agreement
reached by the delegation and the government of Myanmar, also known as
The Karenni delegation is led by Pya Hrae, president of the party, who
arrived in Yangon last Wednesday for the negotiations. Previous talks have
``They (the Myanmar government) wanted us to hand over our weapons and then
come under their legal fold,'' Aung Mya said. ``They promised to develop
our territory, but they don't have any money themselves.''
The group is willing to sign a cease-fire agreement on the condition that
they be able to maintain their troops, weapons, and remain in their
territory in Kayah State near Thailand, he said.
The military government has reached cease-fires with a score of ethnic
rebel groups in recent years. The Karenni group signed one in 1995, but it
broke down a year later over logging disputes. Timber is the sole source of
Thousands of Karenni have sought refuge in Thailand from government
military offensives. The rebel group is believed to have about 3,000
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