KNU Join Laiza Conference To Discuss The Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement

The Karen National Union (KNU) has chosen five leaders to represent it at the upcoming Ethnic Armed Organization Conference in the Kachin Town of Laiza on July 24.

The conference is being held to discuss the proposed nationwide ceasefire agreement and the KNU delegation, will be led by its Chairperson, General Mutu Sae Poe.

The Ethnic Armed Organization Conference will run for two days – July 24 to 26 and its aim is to scrutinize the drafted ‘single text’ nationwide ceasefire agreement drawn up between the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) that represents an alliance of 16 ethnic armed groups and the government’s Union Peacemaking Working Committee (UPWC).

The KNU’s delegation was selected at its Central Executive Committee emergency meeting held in its controlled in Hpa-An district on July 14 to July 16. The KNU delegation team also includes its general secretary, Padoh Saw Kwe Htoo Win and Central Executive Committee Members, Padoh Saw Tadoh Moo, Padoh Mahn Nyein Maung and Lieutenant General Saw Issac.

Padoh Saw Kwe Htoo Win, general secretary of the KNU and a member of the NCCT spoke to Karen News about the conference.

“The delegation teams attending the conference will discuss the second draft [ceasefire agreement] agreed by our ethnic’s NCCT and the government’s UPWC. We will discuss the difficulties the NCCT face, analyze the document and give recommendations [on the draft agreement]”.

Based on the decisions reached at the conference, it is hoped that a schedule to further the nationwide ceasefire discussion would be put in place. Padoh Kwe Htoo Win added that the forthcoming Laiza conference is important in how the quick a nationwide ceasefire is progressed.

The KNU’s Central Executive Committee emergency meeting also discussed the ceasefire Code-of Conduct it has with the government. Discussion centred around – relocation of the Burma Army out of civilian areas, the rise narcotic drug use in Karen state, the current refugee situation on the Thai Burma border and Karen unity.

Padoh Saw Hla Tun, the KNU’s Central Information Department Officer told Karen News that discussion focused on the current draft ceasefire agreement.

“We discussed in the meeting our position and our agreement on the terms and definitions included in the second draft of the nationwide ceasefire agreement.”

Since May 2014, the joint committee of 18 members – nine from the ethnic armed groups represented by NCCT and nine from the government’s UPWC have been working on drafting a ‘single text’ nationwide ceasefire agreement.

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