Rebel armies sign ceasefire with Myanmar government

In an important step to resolving decades of conflict, the government of Myanmar and rebel armies have agreed to a truce. The largest insurgencies, angry at ethnic Burmese majority rule, have so far refused to sign.

The pact, finalized in a ceremony in Myanmar’s administrative capital Naypyitaw on Thursday, was signed by President Thein Sein (pictured above) and representatives of eight rebel armies. That the larger Wa and Kachin paramilitaries declined to participate was a major blow to Thein Sein, who had hoped the ceasefire would mark the pinnacle of his term in office.

Smaller ethnic groups, which make up around 40 percent of the country’s 52 million inhabitants, have mounted insurgencies off and on since the country gained independence from Great Britain in 1948. Unhappy with majority Burmese rule, they have clamored for greater autonomy and control over natural resources in their regions.

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Source News: DW