MYITKYINA, Myanmar – Myanmar's government has launched a fresh round of peace talks with ethnic Kachin rebels, seeking to end a major armed conflict that has recently been overshadowed by strife between Buddhists and Muslims in other parts of the country.
The round of talks beginning Tuesday is 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.
Since independence in 1948 Myanmar has faced rebellions from 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 that came to power in 2011 after almost five decades of military rule.