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Myanmar's military seeks to keep ethnic minority allies on its side with anniversary of cease-fire
Myanmar’s military government has hosted representatives from ethnic rebel groups to mark the eighth anniversary of the signing of a multilateral cease-fire agreement
BANGKOK (AP) — Myanmar’s military government hosted representatives from ethnic rebel groups Sunday to mark the eighth anniversary of the signing of a multilateral cease-fire agreement. But the event was boycotted by three of the signatories that oppose the current army-installed regime.
The event in the capital Naypyitaw was the first such formal gathering of the military government and ethnic minority leaders since the army seized power from Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government on Feb. 1, 2021.
Maintaining a cease-fire with as many groups as possible is crucial for the military government, which for more than two years has been faced with nationwide armed resistance from opponents of its 2021 takeover. Those pro-democracy forces have crucial alliances with, or support from, several ethnic rebel groups. The military has launched offensives in the territory long under the control of the ethnic minority groups.
In order to shake and divide the anti-military rule alliances, the military government has also conducted a series of in-person peace talks with the leaders of ethnic minorities since May last year, with little to show for its effort.