Myanmar Army displaces ethnic villagers in country's southeast

Yangon - Myanmar army troops have displaced about 2,000 civilians in Karen State, according to ethnic armed group the Karen National Union (KNU), violating the terms of a 2012 ceasefire agreement by encroaching on KNU land and putting Myanmar’s fragile peace process in further jeopardy.


“KNU calls on the Tamadaw [Myanmar Army] to stop sending more troops in the area, stop fighting and withdraw its troops in order for the civilians to return to their villages,” a statement on the armed group’s Facebook page said Friday.
Some 800 Myanmar army soldiers had entered KNU-controlled Mutraw District of Karen State since March 4 displacing civilians including 259 students, head of the civil society coalition the Karen Peace Support Network, K’Nyaw Pyaw, told dpa by phone on Friday, adding that clashes in the southern part of the state on Thursday had caused injuries.
Myanmars de-facto leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi made ending conflict with the country’s myriad ethnic armed groups a priority when her National League for Democracy swept to power in 2016 but she has been widely crticized over a faltering peace process.
The KNU was the largest ethnic armed group to sign a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) under the previous government in 2012 but hundreds of thousands of Karen refugees remain displaced on Thai-Myanmar border.
“It is obvious that the Burma Army is breaking the NCA agreement,” K’Nyaw Pyaw said on Friday, “it should not expand its territories or invade our areas.”


Friday, March 16th 2018

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