Fighting continues between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Burmese government forces, the latest clash claiming two government soldiers killed and six wounded, according to KIA officials.
The latest attack by Kachin rebels against an army convoy in northern Shan State occurred on Sunday along the road between Nam Hkam and Muse, the Kachin News Group (KNG) said on Tuesday.
According to an official from the KIA's 4th Brigade, two trucks were destroyed in the attack. The wounded survivors appeared to have been sent to a hospital in Muse for treatment, he said.
On July 6 four government police officers were killed when KIA troops opened fire on a police station, according to a KIA official in the 4th Brigade. The attack occurred at Hka Lum village near Pangsai in northern Shan State.
Talks between government negotiators and representatives from the Kachin Independence Organization are scheduled for later this month.
However, earlier this week the KIO declined the government's request to meet in government-controlled territory, saying it preferred a neutral site.
Negotiations between the two sides have ground to a halt in recent months.
In January, Mizzima reported that unlike other ethnic armed groups, the KIO said it would not agree to a cease-fire first, but wanted first to conclude agreements in other areas.
“A cease-fire is only the political consequences,” KIO spokesman La Nang told Mizzima. “We will focus on political talks which will be transparent, concrete and offer a clear path, and we will discuss how to resolve these political issues.”
The KIO signed a cease-fire agreement with the government in 1994, but renewed fighting erupted in June 2011.
“We had a lesson in the past,” said La Nang “After getting a cease-fire agreement first and resolving political issues later will have had no guarantees. This is the bitter lesson we learned from our experience.”
In April, an editorial in the state-run New Light of Myanmar blamed “hard-line leaders” for the failure of progress in the peace talks.
“Eternal peace in Kachin State is still a pipe dream for the nationalities there due to some hard-line leaders in spite of three rounds of peace talks between the union level peace making group and the KIO,” said the editorial.
The government’s frustration with the talks slow pace surfaced after three-rounds of peace talks in Ruili, China, that failed to make substantial progress, with the two sides differing over procedures and process.