KNU puts human rights on ‘peace talks’ agenda

The Karen National Union says human rights violations and military related issues will be discussed with the Burma government in the next round of ‘peace talks’ planned for later this month.

It was statement by some of the KNU’s Peace Negotiation Team members who were held a discussion and press conference with some NGOs and media at Bangkok about update ‘Peace Talk’ on May 3rd.

KNU general secretary, Naw Zipporah Sein, the leader of the delegation said.

“We are still concerned about human rights abuses that were and are still being committed. This is one of the issues on the agenda for discussion in the next meeting.”

Naw Zpporah Sein said human right abuses by the Burma Army – demanding force labor and burning civilian farms in Karen state – are still being committed.

Naw Zipporah Sein said.

“The situation in Karen State is now relatively calm compared to before the talks. But military operations and camps are still the as same before. The government has not withdrawn their troops or dismantled their outposts.”

As recent as last week a report by the Karen Human Rights Group, documented abuses by the Burma Army were still be committed in Kawkariek Township. This is despite the DKBA and KNU ceasefire arrangements with the government. Villagers in Kawkareik Township have continued to raise concerns about the ongoing human rights abuses, including the arbitrary detention and violent abuse of civilians and forced labour demands.

In April, the KNU delegation, led by the KNU’s, Naw Zipporah Sein, met the Burma government’s 19-member delegation and formalizing an initial ceasefire agreement between the two sides.

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