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Junta Spokesperson: Myanmar Military Meets Rebel Groups With China's Help

FILE - Volunteer members of Karenni insurgent forces walk in Moe Bye in Kayah State, Myanmar Nov. 12, 2023.
FILE - Volunteer members of Karenni insurgent forces walk in Moe Bye in Kayah State, Myanmar Nov. 12, 2023.

Representatives from Myanmar's ruling military have held talks, facilitated by China, with three armed rebel groups leading an anti-junta offensive, state media reported a junta spokesperson as saying on Monday.

Myanmar's military is battling armed opponents on several fronts, in the fiercest challenge to its grip on the Southeast Asian country since it seized power from an elected government in a 2021 coup.

Rebel groups aligned with a pro-democracy parallel government launched a coordinated offensive in late October, taking control of several military posts and towns near the border with China in the north and in western states.

"Myanmar's National Unity and Peacemaking Coordination Committee met with representatives of MNDAA, TNLA and AA with the help of China," said Zaw Min Tun, according to MRTV's Telegram channel, referring to the armed ethnic groups spearheading the offensive.

"Based on the development of the conversation, there will likely be another meeting at the end of this month."

It was unclear when or where the meeting took place and Zaw Min Tun did not elaborate on what was discussed.

Representatives of the three rebel groups did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment. Chinese officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The statement comes as fighting continues across two-thirds of the country, killing more than 360 civilians and displacing more than half a million, according to the United Nations.

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