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Myanmar-Rebel Conflict is Not Black and White

Catherine Cheney Monday, Jan. 7, 2013

Last week, Myanmar’s military launched airstrikes against ethnic rebels from the northern state of Kachin, the latest salvo in a conflict between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Myanmar’s central government that has escalated since a 1994 cease-fire came apart in 2011.

Like other ethnic minorities in Myanmar, the Kachin have long sought more autonomy from the central government of the Southeast Asian nation, also known as Burma, which was under repressive military rule for five decades but has experienced a modicum of reform since President U Thein Sein came to power in 2011. Yet Thein Sein’s ascent was soon followed by a worsening of the conflict between the KIA and the central government that has raised concerns over the prospects for peace. ...

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