Maj-General Bo Nat Khann Mway, the Myanmar commander-in-chief of Democratic Karen Buddhist Army known by several aliases including Na Kham Mwe, died Sunday from neck cancer at his residence in Pegu Township. He was 55 years old.
He had been treated for the disease for three years in Myanmar and Singapore.
Bo Nat Khann Mway appeared as DKBA chair on December 20 when it celebrated the 21th anniversary of its establishment.
He split from the Christian-led Karen National Union in December 1994, and shortly after that signed a peace agreement with the Myanmar government in exchange for military and financial support.
The DKBA’s headquarters is across the border from Tak province.
A source said that when Bo Nat Khann Mway’s condition deteriorated after the anniversary celebration, he returned to receive treatment at Yangon Hospital and was transferred to a Singapore hospital.
He became widely known in Thailand after being blacklisted for being involved in drug gangs.
He gave interviews in which he attacked the then Interior Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung and he closed a border checkpoint. His army also had a series of disputes with the Thai Army.
The source said that because of his poor relationship with Thai authorities, he did not seek treatment in the Kingdom.