KNU and Burma government delegations kick-off ceasefire talks

The Karen National Union (KNU) and the Burma Government ‘peace talk’ delegations reached an understanding to avoid further armed conflict and to formalize the initial ceasefire agreement at the State Level meeting held yesterday in Pa-an.

The meeting focused on the issues involved in taking the initial cease-fire agreement between the KNU and the Burma government to the next stage.

The KNU 16 member delegations led by its general secretary, Naw Zipporah Sein met with the Burma government’s 15 member team led by the Railway Minister U Aung Min at the Zwekabin Hotel in Pa-an.

Naw May Oo Mutraw, a KNU delegation spokesperson told Karen News.

“The main topics discussed at the meeting today included developing a code-of-conduct for soldiers from both sides, identify a mechanism to monitor the ceasefire arrangements and to setup liaison offices.”

Naw May Oo Mutraw said it is yet to be decided what mechanisms are needed.

“The issue is important. We agreed that we will look at all the issues in detail and we will coordinate our efforts as we progress in order to be able to establish a mechanism to deal with problems.”

Naw May Oo Mutraw said the Burma Government assured the KNU delegation that its troops are bound under the Tamadaw’s “Burma Army 60 Point code-of-conduct.

“Both sides agreed that the KNU should look at the Tamadaw’s code of conduct and evaluate it with its own code-of-conduct to see which points are applicable and would help encourage the practical implementation of formal ceasefire.”

Both sides agreed that the issue would be further discussed at the Union level meeting.

Naw May Oo Mutraw said the Government delegation suggested the possibility to create a Board for monitoring and advising on the cease-fire arrangements. The board would include international experts and the KNU would also be able to send its advisors to help setup a monitoring system.

Naw May Oo Mutraw said.

“The Government stretches to establish two liaison offices in Ler Doh (Kyaukkyi), Pago Division and Dawei in Taninthayi Division.

The Government also proposes to establish liaison offices in other locations such as Myawaddy, Papun and Pa-an.”

The KNU proposed the establishment of liaison offices, if necessary at the State and Union level in Pa-an and Rangoon respectively.

Naw May Oo said.

“The issue will be further discussed at the Rangoon Union level meeting.”

The KNU delegation is scheduled to meet with Karen civil society organization leaders and religious leaders in Pa-an tomorrow before leaving for Rangoon to continue the ‘peace talks’ at the Union level.

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