The Burmese government has unilaterally postponed the third round of cease-fire negotiations with the Karen National Union (KNU), previously scheduled for August 27-29 in Pa’an in Karen State, according to a KNU statement released this weekend.
|Burmese government and Karen National Union officials met at the Aye Chan Pyo guesthouse in Myawaddy on August 6, 2012. The two sides agreed to hold a three-day meeting on August 27 in Hpa-an to discuss a cease-fire code of conduct. Photo: Karen News|
The parties had agreed to the negotiated dates during a preliminary meeting on August 5. A troop code of conduct and withdrawals were to be further discussed, as agreed by both parties during union-level negotiations in Rangoon on April 6.
The Karen National Union statement said it considered each step in the cease-fire negotiation process to be an opportunity to build trust between the parties, and trust is essential to implement any cease-fire agreement.
It called upon the government to move forward with the negotiations in a way that would build confidence between the parties.
On May 10, Mizzima reported ethnic armed groups and others welcomed the Burmese government’s newly formed union-level peace committee, especially the inclusion of high-level government and military officials.
The KNU expressed hope that the peace negotiations would be more effective with the inclusion of the president, vice president and top military officers on the peace committee.
KNU peace delegation Secretary Pado David Taw said it was important that the committee included top military commanders, who can give direct orders to the armed forces to implement the various cease-fire and other agreements.
The government committee should be “more effective in peace negotiations and the peace process,” he said.
Military analyst Aung Kyaw Zaw, who lives on the Sino-Burma border, said the new committee was more inclusive because it included many more decision makers in politics and the military.