13 Jan 2012

Myanmar signs ceasefire deal with rebels

1:41 pm on 13 January 2012

The authorities in Myanmar have signed what they call a preliminary ceasefire agreement with Karen rebels in an effort to end one of the world's longest-running civil conflicts.

The agreement follows a meeting involving a government delegation, regional army commanders and nearly 20 senior members of the Karen National Union (KNU).

The Karen have fought for greater autonomy for more than 60 years.

A BBC correspondent says a ceasefire is only a first step towards a durable peace, but it is a crucial sign of a new determination on both sides to try to resolve a bitter, decades-long conflict.

It was not clear what, if any, concessions have been made to reach this truce.