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Rebels Accuse Burma Army of Ignoring Cease-Fire Order

Soldiers of the ethnic Kachin Independence Army (KIA) patrol in downtown Laiza, northeastern Burma, January 4, 2013.
Ethnic Kachin rebels in northern Burma say government troops are ignoring a cease-fire order that was supposed to go into effect Saturday.

President Thein Sein issued the order Friday to troops in northeastern Kachin state near the border with China. However, the rebel Kachin Independence Army said Sunday that attacks involving artillery and troops are continuing.

The fighting has marred optimism about Burma's political reforms, as it emerges from decades of military dictatorship.

Thein Sein urged international donor nations on Saturday to help in the development of the country's battered economy and in improving the living standards of its impoverished population. He assured them that the government was serious about ending armed ethnic conflicts.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.