DKBA’s go-it-alone ceasefire deal weakens ethnic strength

The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) has reached a ceasefire agreement with the Burmese government following a day of negotiations held recently in the Karen State capital of Hpa-an.

A spokesperson for the DKBA, Major San Aung spoke to Karen News about the ceasefire.
“The ceasefire has been reach between representatives of the DKBA Klo Htoo Baw Brigade and the Burmese government in Hpa-an that the Klo Htoo Baw Brigade and the Burma Army will stop fighting. It was agreed the Burma Army would stop their offensive against the DKBA.”

Major San Aung said both sides a agreed to set up a liaison office in the border town of Myawaddy.
“Soldiers from both sides passing through one another’s territory will have to get prior permission. People don’t want fighting in their area so we agreed to a ceasefire.”

The DKBA’s Klo Htoo Baw’s (also known as Brigade 5), who are led by Brigadier General Saw Ler Pwe or Na Ka Mwe, agreed to a ceasefire with the former military government.

A DKBA source said, for security reasons, Brigadier General Saw Ler Pwe did not actively take part in the negotiations, but was represented by his six of his top military leaders..

The latest meeting was not the first time the two sides had met to settle for a ceasefire.

Brigadier General Saw Ler Pwe came to prominence and the attention of the international media when he refused to bring his DKBA Brigade under the control of the Burma Army as a Border Guard Force militia.

On 7th November last year Brigadier General Saw Ler Pwe laid siege to the Burmese border town of Myawaddy. The Burma Army responsed and the resulting bombardment forced 20,000 people to take refuge in neighboring Thailand.

At the time Brigadier General Saw Ler Pwe said.
“We do this because the Burma army are not honest and we cannot put up with it anyone more. If they shoot, we are ready to fight back.”

From the battlefield, at the time Major General Saw Ler Pwe explained by phone to Karen News how he was fighting on behalf of all of the ethnic people of Burma.

“The regime oppresses all the ethnic people of Burma,” he said. “Our action today is the will of our people — they have wanted it for a long time.”

Many Karen people have voiced their concerns at Major General Saw Ler Pwe latest actions and hope it is not the restart of the Burma Army using Karen to fight Karen.

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