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Burma's 'Policy Of Annihilation' Fueled 50-year Revolt: KNU - 2004-02-05


Burma's main rebel group says it would have never taken up arms had it not faced what it calls a "policy of annihilation" by the Burmese army.

But in a statement commemorating its 57th anniversary, the Karen National Union stressed that it is now committed to resolving outstanding problems through political means.

The rebel group and the military government held six days of peace talks last month in Rangoon.

The military government praised a ceasefire worked out between the two sides as the first step toward toward national unity, solidarity and prosperity.

But the rebels said more needs to be done before a firm peace agreement can be reached.

The Karen National Union has been fighting for more than 50 years to establish an independent state in eastern Burma for ethnic Karens. The insurgency has been at a low level since the mid-1990's, when major government offensives greatly reduced the rebels' power.

Information for this report is provided by AFP.

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