Karen Soldiers and Gov’t’s Troops Fight In Northern Karen State…Again!

The Karen National Liberation Army 2nd Brigade based in the Taungoo District confirmed to Karen News that a small firefight between its solders and the government troops happened on April 20.

Lieutenant Saw Prah, company commander of the KNLA 2nd Brigade’s security force told Karen News that the fighting was between his soldiers and the Burma Army’s Infantry Battalion 589 from the Kyaukgyi-based Tactical Command 3 under its Southern Military Command at an area near Tha Byay Nyunt village in Baw Gali sub-township in Thaundaung Township.

The KNLA’s Lieutenant Saw Prah blamed the government troop for crossing the agreed-on permitted line.

“We have set routes for government troops to travel freely within the areas. This fighting occurred as the government troops came into our controlled area outside of the set routes and without informing us. Our soldiers opened fire first as they [Burma army] came into our area without letting us know.”

Lt. Saw Prah said that the fighting only lasted for a few minutes. He said that if government troops kept to the rules and regulations set down and agreed to by two sides, there would not be any incidents.

The latest incident was in a series, on April 22, fighting broke out between KNLA soldiers from 5th Brigade and troops from the government’s militia, Border Guard Force battalion #1014, from Kamamaung Township – one BGF soldier was wounded.

A local KNLA official accused, that in some of its controlled areas, the government troops are entering with their patrols and making the excuse that it is to teach their new soldiers about the territory.

A ceasefire observer, monitoring the situation said that unless the leaders at the negotiation peace table make the ceasefire agreement concrete, these armed clashes would continue.

“These incidents have happened because the leaders from both sides failed to implement the ceasefire agreement seriously and systematically. It is normal that the frontline will not take the agreement serious and will attempt to violate the agreement intentionally or unintentionally.”

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