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Karenni Civil Society Warns Myanmar Government to Stop Undermining Peace Process

By Karenni Civil Society Network  •  October 31, 2012

A briefing paper by the Karenni Civil Society Network (KCSN) issued today warns how the Myanmar government’s failure to adhere to ceasefire agreements with the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) is undermining the peace process.

The government has failed to keep various agreements signed with KNPP on March 7 and June 9 of this year, including informing KNPP of its troop movements through Karenni territory, which led to an outbreak of fighting in June, resulting in the death of nine Burma Army soldiers.

The government has also pushed ahead with construction of a controversial military training ground in Pruso, despite agreeing to conduct a joint survey with KNPP to assess local support for the project. The survey, completed in July, was dominated by government officials who called for continuation of the project, against the wishes of local people whose lands have been confiscated.

Although the government had agreed to allow civil society to monitor mega-development projects in Karenni State, including the planned Ywathit dam on the Salween River, KCSN representatives were blocked in September from visiting the dam site, where the Chinese company Datang is carrying out surveying for the 600 MW dam.

“If the government is not even keeping to its initial agreements in Karenni State, how can we trust them to build lasting peace in Burma?” asked Thaw Reh, KCSN spokesperson.

The KCSN, comprising nine Karenni civil society organizations, is urging the government to stick to its agreements, announce a nationwide ceasefire and hold nationwide political dialogue as soon as possible.

They also warn against the premature repatriation of over 16,000 Karenni refugees sheltering in two camps in Mae Hong Son province, northern Thailand.

“If refugees are pushed back to Burma while conflict is unresolved, they will just flee back again,” said Thaw Reh.

The full KCSN briefing paper can be downloaded here.

Contacts:

Thaw Reh: 08 9835 6128 
Mi Reh (Du): 08 1029 9570 
Ahmu Htoo: 08 1366 0621

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This post is in: Press Release

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