The Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) has reiterated the group's long stated position that political problems must be solved through dialogue, according to a Feb. 1 statement released by the central committee.
The KIO continue to seek dialogue, despite the fact that fighting continues in Kachin state. The statement came days before the latest round of peace talks between the two sides was underway today (Feb.4) in Ruili, China.
In the statement, the KIO rejected claims made by Burmese state media that the Kachin resistance group only sent mid-level representatives to speak with the government's chief negotiator Aung Min and senior military officials during the previous round of peace talks held last October.
Although the KIO's most senior officials did decline the invitation to attend the meeting in China they still sent representatives. However Burmese state media claimed that the “rejection of invitation from the government and failure to come to Shweli [also Ruili] negotiation” prevented possibilities of a ceasefire between the two sides.
The government also released the statement on Feb.1 that said: “GOM (government of Myanmar) remains committed to cooperating with those organizations facilitating the resumption of peace talks with KIO/KIA”.
Although fighting has slowed after government forces have taken control of key hill tops surrounding Laiza, the government’s report made no mention of the ongoing clashes between the KIO and Burma army. It also failed to mention offensives in late December and January, when the Burma army pounded KIO’s Laiza headquarters with planes, helicopters and heavy artillery, resulting in several civilians being killed and injured.
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