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Panglong fails to address need for landmine clearance agreements

Peace negotiators are anxious to see long-promised mine clearance activities get underway so that refugee resettlement and development can move forward. The head of the Union-level Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee called on the public to urge their local officials to make good on pledges to clear the unexploded ordinance. “In my opinion, they [the state-level Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committees] need…

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BGF arrests tree planters in Mon State’s Dar Li forest reserve

Four villagers found sowing seeds on disputed land were arrested on May 23. Officers from the Border Guard Force caught the four villagers as they were planting trees in Mon State’s Kyaikmaraw township. Locals say the plot was made into a protected forest reserve in 2015, but the BGF insists that an overlapping parcel of 600 acres was set aside…

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Still Fighting Ethnic Armed Groups Accept ‘Special Invitation’ to Peace Conference

The Union Peace Conference second session started yesterday with the surprise inclusion of eight armed ethnic organizations who had not signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement. In addition, some of the ethnic armed organizations are currently in armed conflict with government forces in both Shan and Kachin States that international humanitarian groups have estimated to have forced as many as 150,000…

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Myaing Gyi Ngu IDP’s Temporary Shelter in Need of Roof Repair, Supplies

The Myaing Gyi Ngu shelter for displaced families is in urgent need of roof repairs before the monsoon season fully kicks in, officials said. The Karen State temporary shelter began housing thousands of people last September when fighting erupted between a splinter faction of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), the Tatmadaw and a border militia. Donations to the camp…

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RCSS to refrain from signing any agreements at 21st-Century Panglong Conference

Amid much speculation about what can be achieved at the second round of the Union Peace Conference, scheduled to start on May 24, even the ceasefire signatory groups seem baffled. The Restoration Council of Shan State announced that while it will attend the meeting, it will neither submit nor sign any binding proposals or agreements. “Since the second session of…

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Thousands of Displaced Karen Villagers Call for Burma Army to Get Off Their Land

Today, while the peace dialogue in Nay Phyi Daw resumes for its second round, displaced Karen villagers in remote areas of northern Karen State staged a protest over the Burma Army occupying their lands and preventing their safe return. The protest took place at Ei Tu Hta, an internally displaced people camp situated on the Salween River in Papun district.…

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KNU Official Carrying Arms in Mixed Control Areas Gets Complaint from Govt State Border Affair

A member of the Karen State government has objected to a Karen National Union official totting guns in an area of “dual administration”. The KNU signed the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) in 2015, which as they were recently reminded, restricts them from carrying guns in areas not under their control. The Kayin State Minister of Security and Border Affairs sent…

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Myeik interfaith forum participants to create conflict prevention network

Myanmar needs a conflict prevention network, religious and civil society leaders in Tanintharyi Region announced at a conference this week. “We will establish a network by uniting people of different religions from various fields [to prevent] issues that can cause religious conflict and can harm peace,” said Ko Arkar Oo, an organizer of the Peace and Goodwill Forum. The May…

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Teaching hospital opened in Karen State

A Canadian charity and the Karen National Union launched Karen State’s first modern teaching hospital this weekend. The 24-bed, Taw Naw Teaching Hospital will train local healthcare practitioners and help boost local public health services, according to Global Neighbors Canada Inc. Padoh Saw Eh K’lu Shwe Oo, head of Karen State’s Department of Health and Welfare, said the Taw Naw…

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Hpa-an’s Telaku Village welcomes uptick in visitors

Tourists are increasingly finding their way to a unique enclave in Kayin (Karen) State where the Telaku Karen live, village elders told KIC news. The Telaku village in Hpa-an township is home to just over three dozen members of the sub-group of the Karen people. Though the residents live just 30 minutes from the state capital, they have kept fairly…

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