RANGOON, Burma – Though President Thein Sein ordered a halt to military offensives against ethnic minority rebels a full year ago, fighting continues unabated in the northern Burmese state of Kachin as peace talks flounder, a mediator told AFP on Tuesday (December 18th).
"Fighting between the KIO (Kachin Independence Organisation) and the military has been happening every day in recent weeks," said Yup Zaw Hkaung, a local businessman and peace negotiator.
"People are losing their homes and land as they have to flee the fighting," he added and urged that a third party, such as the UN, mediate the conflict.
According to AFP, several rounds of talks to resolve the conflict have resulted in little progress. The Kachin rebels are demanding more political rights and an end to what they describe as human rights abuses by the army.