Burma government, rebel groups sign draft cease-fire deal
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Burma government, rebel groups sign draft cease-fire deal

YANGON, Burma (AP) — Burma’s government and 16 ethnic armed groups have agreed on the text of a draft nationwide cease-fire agreement aimed at ending decades of civil unrest.

Though lauded as a significant step — the opposing sides have tussled over wording and rights over natural resources for months — fighting between the army and two rebel factions in northern Burma highlight the challenges still ahead.

President Thein Sein appeared briefly at Tuesday’s signing. He said he was happy a single draft had been agreed upon.

Specifics were not released, however, and it remains unclear when a final agreement will be inked. The government wants that to happen before elections at the end of the year.