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Hundreds join Myanmar march to end ethnic conflicts

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Activists praised Myanmar authorities Saturday for allowing a peace march through Yangon calling for an end to the nation's civil conflicts, after several people were charged for rallying without permission last year.

Around 300 people joined the colourful International Day of Peace rally through the city -- the majority wearing blue t-shirts printed with anti-war slogans -- with just a handful of police watching the event.

"The government needs to listen the voice of the people. I think they are begining to acknowledge that responsibility," organiser Moe Thway, of Generation Wave, said referring to the granting of permission for the march.

Last September several hundred people defied authorities to march through Yangon urging an end to the festering conflict between Kachin ethnic minority rebels and Myanmar's army.

Activists say 11 people were charged in connection with the rally.

This time activists from some 60 civil society groups marched through the city calling for peace and reconcilation between authorities and numerous armed ethnic groups including in northern Kachin State.

The country's government has agreed ceasefires with several ethnic rebel groups as part of reforms since coming to power in 2011.

A preliminary truce was also reached with Kachin rebels in May, although both sides have reported clashes over recent weeks.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130921/hundreds-join-myanmar-march-end-ethnic-conflicts