The Karen Peace Support Network (KPSN) released a statement that said that fighting between the DKBA and government army during July on the Asia Highway had damaged recent peace initiatives.
The newly built Asia Highway connects Myawaddy and Kawkareik in Karen state and saw fierce fighting between the Burma Army and the DKBA over security for the road.
The KPSN statement released on July 10 said that implementing large-scale projects before consolidating permanent ceasefires and political agreements intensified the potential for conflict, hurt peace affected the security of civilians.
KPSN spokeperson, Naw Hsa Moo told Karen News that, “when there are no solid agreements on resolving conflicts, this kind of developmental project does not create peace, but starts the fighting and severely damages the environment.”
Naw Hsa Moo stressed that the “we do not want war and fighting. It is better that this kind of large-scale project is implemented in our country, after there is a real peace. We do not want this form of developmental process that creates conflicts for not only the parties involved, but also hurts the peace process.”
The KNPS statement called for the responsible groups to stop fighting, resolve the issues through dialogue in the peace process, and made seven recommendations including that the KNU should mediate in this conflict until a solution to peace is found. The KNPS statement was officially endorsed by 25 members of its.
The KNU joint secretary Padoh Mahn Mahn told Karen News that it is in the position to handle the current conflict.
Padoh Mahn Mahn said that, “these development are appearing suddenly, even when basic political issues haven’t been resolved, there will be inequality and human right abuses. So, when ethnic representatives and the government meet in the coming days, I believe they will analysis and discuss the consequence of conflict.”
Fighting between the DKBA and the Burma Army under Military Operation Command 12 started on July 2nd after the Burma Army deployed security troops and ordered the DKBA to move from the road ahead of the Burma Army’s South Eastern Division commanders trip to Myawaddy.