Thursday, October 17, 2019

Karen call on Myanmar to honour ceasefire agreement

Apr 24. 2018
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THE KAREN community has urged the Myanmar military to honour the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) after a report, due to be released today, said that more than 15,000 government troops have now invaded Karen National Union (KNU) controlled areas.

The KNU, which has sought autonomy in the Karen state since Myanmar’s independence, signed the truce agreement in 2015 to prevent expansion of military reinforcements in ceasefire areas.

Karen Peace Support Network, a Karen civil society group, plans to launch the report together with exhibition in Chiang Mai province today. 

The 20-page report said that the Tatmadaw – Myanmar military – troops had been deployed in Karen state’s Hpapun district since early last month. 

Taking advantage

“The Burma (Myanmar) Army’s renewed attacks and road construction activities have shattered this hope by once again forcing people from their land and into hiding in the forests. On April 5, Burma Army troops shot and killed 42-year-old Saw O Moo in the Ler Mu Plaw area of northwestern Luthaw,” the report said. 

The report said the government’s military is again taking advantage of the ceasefire to accomplish what it was unable to do during earlier periods of widespread armed conflict: expand and upgrade its military infrastructure and capability to seize and control Karen people’s lands. 

The Tatmadaw actions undermine local people’s efforts to build genuine lasting peace, protect their natural and cultural heritage and facilitate the return of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons to their ancestral lands, it said.

The report called for an independent investigation to end the ongoing military confrontation in Karen state. Infrastructure construction such as roads to facilitate militarisation in the KNU controlled areas should be halted, it said.

The KNU and the Tatmadaw should reach an agreement for the military withdrawal from civilian areas to allow displaced Karen to restore their villages, farmlands and customary land stewardship systems, the report said.

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