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Page last updated at 07:03 GMT, Monday, 9 April 2012 08:03 UK

Mike Thomson on Burma's 'ethnic brethren'


There are new hopes that Burma's ethnic wars could finally be nearing an end after decades of bloody conflict.

This weekend Burma's President, Thein Sein met with one of the country's largest ethnic groups in what's seen as one of the biggest steps towards peace yet undertaken.

According to a mediator there he told a delegation from the Karen National Union that he viewed the rebels as "brothers rather than enemies" and on Sunday the Karen leaders met with Aung San Suu Kyi.

Over the last year ceasefires have been signed with five of the country's other ethnic groups, and talks were held last month with ethnic Kachin rebels who have yet to agree a truce.

The Today programme's Mike Thomson reports from Burma's Shan state on whether the country is finally heading towards peace as well as democracy.

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