Karen groups want independent third party observers at peace talks

A network of Karen community–based-organisations on the Thai Burma border on the eve of official ceasefire talks between the Karen National Union and the Burma government have issued a media statement calling for third party observers to be involved.

The group calling itself the Karen Community Based Organisations (KCBO) issued a media statement today that said.

“There must be third-party international community observers to monitor the peace talk process.”

A KCBO spokesperson, Saw Eh Htoo Soe, told Karen News.

“We issued this media statement to support our Karen leaders at tomorrow’s ‘peace-talks’. We hope the peace is not only for the Karen, but all people in Burma.”

KCBO spokesperson, Saw Eh Htoo Soe explained to Karen News why his organization wants independent international observers at the ‘peace talks’.

“In the past there were [ceasefire] agreements that were easily broken this time we want to see credible and independent witnesses to ensure the agreements are binding. With independent witnesses at the talks we will know who has not honored the agreements. It is normal practice between warring sides to have independent third parties to keep everyone honest.”

The KCBO media statement welcomed Thursday’s official ‘peace talks’ between the KNU and Burma government representatives, but urged in a number of bullet points that the outcome of the talks must be for all Karen.

“The peace talk must benefit the overall Karen population and other ethnic nationalities of Burma, both parties must recognized and mutually respect the agreements which result from the peace talks and, in addition to a ceasefire, the overall goal of the peace talk is for a long-term and genuine political dialogue so that there will be sustainable peace in Burma.”

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