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05/04/2019 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – The Burmese Army (tatmadaw) has extended by two months a unilateral four-month ceasefire that was put in place last December in five regional commands in Kachin and Shan states.

The extension was announced by the Office of the Commander-in-Chief on the last day of its original four-month truce, which started on December 21.

Asia News reports the announcement was made after peace talks between the government and the Northern Alliance took place in Muse, northern Shan state.

The Northern Alliance includes the Arakan Army (AA), Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Kokang’s Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), and Ta’ang Nationalities Liberation Army (TNLA), all of which have not signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), put forward by the government in 2015.

Military spokesperson Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun said that talks in Muse had been positive and that the extension to June 30 was done based on “[the] demand of the ethnic armed groups as part of efforts for gaining eternal peace and for effectively bring[ing] about the peace in the country”.

In June 2011, tatmadaw and KIA ended a 17-year truce in the predominantly Christian Kachin state in northern Myanmar, turning 150,000 people into refugees, making 130,000 stay in 165 camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) located in Kachin and northern Shan, and another 20,000 hosted in local communities.

405 villages have been damaged or destroyed as a result of the ongoing conflicts. Some 311 churches, 122 schools, and 264 clinics were also attacked.

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