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Myanmar government, ethnic group set up conflict mediation team

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Yangon, May 29 (IANS) The Myanmar government and the ethnic Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) have formed a conflict mediation team as part of the first phase of implementing a joint monitoring mechanism, media reported on Thursday.

The 10-member conflict mediation team comprising five members from each side was set up on Wednesday at the Office of KIO Technical Team in Myitgyina, capital of Kachin state, Xinhua reported citing the media report, which added that the team would meet once a month.

Kachin State Border Affairs and Security Minister Colonel Than Aung will head the government’s five-member team while Zaw Thuang will lead the KIO’s.

The conflict mediation team will draw up five-point fundamental principles and 18-point rules to abide by.

The implementation of a joint monitoring mechanism was agreed upon in October 2013 and reaffirmed following renewed bilateral peace talks in Myitgyina on May 13, 2014.

The May peace talks followed clashes between the government forces and the KIO in three areas in Kachin state in early April.

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