Rescuing and serving persecuted Christians since 1995
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ICC Note:
With renewed peace talks between the Burmese state and representatives of the Kachin Independence Organization, questions rise, once again, as to whether an end to decades-old skirmishes between the state and the Kachin rebels looms on the horizon. Kachin state is a semi-autonomous region within Burma comprised primarily of ethnic minority Christians. Ongoing fighting between the Burmese state and Kachin rebels has, in many ways, spawned much of the worst human rights abuses committed against Christian minorities in Burma, including forced enlistment of Christians youths as soldiers and military porters, attacks against and extrajudicial killings of Christian civilians, sexual violence against Christian women,  internal displacement, arbitrary arrest, and wrongful detention of innocent Christians, land confiscations from Christian communities and business. Peace between the state and rebels could act as unanticipated deterrent to continued persecution of Burmese Christians in Kachin.
05/29/2013 Burma (WashingtonPost) – [Burma]’s government launched a new round of peace talks with ethnic Kachin rebels on Tuesday, seeking to end an armed conflict that has recently been overshadowed by strife between Buddhists and Muslims in other parts of the country.
The top government negotiator said the talks, if successful, could lead to a comprehensive cease-fire agreement with all ethnic rebel groups in a month or two.
The talks with the Kachin Independence Organization, scheduled to last three days, are the first to be held in the Kachin state capital of Myitkyina.
Fighting erupted in Kachin in June 2011, ending a cease-fire that had been in place since 1994 and displacing more than 100,000 people.
Since independence in 1948, [Burma] has faced rebellions from a number of minority groups seeking autonomy. While sporadic fighting continues with several, the Kachin are the only major group that has not reached a cease-fire agreement with the elected government of President Thein Sein, who came to power in 2011 after almost five decades of military rule.
“If we can have an agreement with the KIO, the president has the desire to hold a formal cease-fire signing agreement with all ethnic groups” by June or July, said President’s Office Minister Aung Min, a veteran negotiator with ethnic rebel groups who is leading the government side at the talks.
The current fighting began when Kachin guerrillas refused to abandon a strategic base near a hydropower plant that the government is developing in a joint venture with a Chinese company. To help maintain peace with the minority groups, the government allows them to maintain their own militias, although in recent years the groups have been pressured to put them under government control.

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