KNU asks for halt to military operations in Karen State


Saw San Aung Photo: Hong Sar/Mizzima

The Karen National Union (KNU) issued a statement yesterday protesting against clashes between Democratic Karen Buddhist Army – Kyaw Htet (DKBA-KH)forces, led by Saw San Aung,and a combined force of government and Border Guard Force (BGF) troops in the Mae Tha Waw area of Karen State.

KNU General Secretary - 1 Padoh Saw Thaw Thi Bwe told Mizzima, “Our KNU signed a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with the government and is cooperating with the government and its army in the peace process. Nowthat there is military tension and conflict while the peace process is being implemented, the people in Karen State worry about their safety and they distrust the peace process. Also people are fleeing the conflict areas.

The KNU sent their letter to the Chairman of National Reconciliation and Peace Committee on September 10 and sent copies to the departments concerned asking for the de-escalation of ongoing conflict arising from military operations launched by government troops and BGF in Mae Tha Waw area.

He further said that KNU had no conflict with these forces at the moment but Mae Tha Waw area is in KNU 7th Brigade and it is adjacent to KNU 5th Brigade on the west bank of Thanlwin River so they are concerned about the spread of conflict into their areas of control.

The statement says military operations launched by government troops and BGF made the people in the area concerned about their safety. It also said the ongoing conflict jeopardizes peace and tranquillity in the region and could affect the ongoing peace process between the government and KNU.

After the conflict broke out in early September, 2,000 people had to flee to Myaing Gyi Ngu with others fleeing to the Thai-Myanmar border.

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