by Feng Yingqiu
YANGON, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Representatives of central peace making group of the Myanmar government and Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) resumed peace talks in China's border town of Ruili on Monday, signifying the government's endeavors in bringing KIO back to the negotiation table after the last talks in Ruili on Oct. 30, 2012 failed.
According to a five-point joint statement issued by both sides, the talks focused on establishment of communication channel, reduction of military tension and invitation of observers to witness the next talks which will be coordinated with the Union National Federal Council (UNFC) to start political dialogue before the end of this month.
The UNFC is an alliance of Myanmar ethnic nationalities, in which KIO is a member.
At the first round of resumed talks, the government side was led by Vice Chairman of the Central Peace Making Work Committee and Minister U Aung Min, while the KIO was headed by U Sung Lyut Gam.
The Kayin National Union (KNU) Chairman General Saw Mutu Sae Poe and representative of the Restoration Council of Shan State Army (RCSS) as well as Ambassador from the Chinese Foreign Ministry Luo Zhaohui were present as witnesses.
The KNU and RCSS represent armed groups that have made peace with the government.
The resumption of talks between the government and the KIO came 17 days after the government announced unilateral ceasefire with KIA, the army of KIO, on Jan. 18 to prepare for a political dialogue, saying that the government troops will stop military offensive against the area of Lajayan starting Jan. 19.
Ever since June 2011, the government forces and the KIA had been continuously fighting until the present resumption of talks.
As armed conflicts between the government forces and the KIA escalated since the beginning of this year involving government forces' air strike, the Lower House of Myanmar's parliament urged the government's central peace-making group and the KIA on Jan. 11 to reduce tension of conflict and embark on a path of building lasting peace.
On Jan. 18, the House also approved another important proposal urging the government forces and the KIA to immediately halt fighting in the Kachin state and hold peace talks at once for the realization of domestic peace.
The House made a three-point statement after a parliamentarian with the Kachin state's Myitkyina constituency U Thein Zaw submitted an important interim proposal to the session.
The statement said the armed conflicts in Kachin state had brought daily misery and loss to local people.
With no way out by holding arms to fight each other, the statement believed that the armed conflict could only be resolved through dialogue.
The government claimed that it has negotiated with the KIA for 11 times and the last talks took place in vain on Oct. 30, 2012 with the absence of military leaders from the KIA side to discuss important issues.
The government said that after the failure of the last peace talks, the KIA stepped up attacks on government forces which in return launched air strike against the KIA in the beginning of this year at point-771 hill.
Meanwhile, Myanmar's National Human Rights Commission also called for intensified efforts to find a mutually acceptable solution to the conflict soonest and provide humanitarian assistance to the conflict-struck victims in Kachin state.