The Karen National Union has decided to sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, despite the other members of the ethnic armed group’s alliance, having not yet made their positions known.
The KNU decision was reached at its Central Committee Emergency meeting held on August 14 and 15 at Lay Wah, Pa-an District, Karen State.
Padoh Saw Kwe Htoo Win, general secretary of the KNU spoke to Karen News.
“We made this decision to sign the NCA within our individual organization. This doesn’t mean we are against the all-inclusive principle [of an united ethnic position], but rather to try to find ways to reach that stage step-by-step. We are not holding on to the principle to sign the agreement when everyone signs. We have to [now] find ways to sign it.”
Padoh Kwe Htoo Win said that as the government does not accept the all-inclusive principle, the KNU would try, together with the other ethnic armed organization who decide to sign the NCA, to get over this condition in order to bring in the other groups step-by-step.
The KNU’s press statement released on August 15, stated that the organization agreed to the points discussed between the Ethnic Armed Organizations Senior Delegation and the Government’s Union Peacemaking Working Committee at its 9th NCA meeting. The KNU’s press statement confirmed that KNU has decided to sign the NCA.
The KNU statement said that KNU would try to sign the NCA together with the other ethnic armed organizations. Karen News is led to understand that the other members of the ethnic alliance who have not yet signed want to have their political, military and humanitarian rights guaranteed in the NCA.
The ethnic armed organizations are scheduled to meet in Chiang Mai, Thailand from August 21 to 23. Sources to clarify each organizations position on the NCA and at the same time to get decision on who will sign and who will not sign.
The KNU said that its representatives who will attend the meeting include General Mutu Sae Poe, KNU vice chairperson, Padoh Naw Zipporah Sein, vice chairperson, Padoh Saw Kwe Htoo Win, general secretary, Padoh Thaw Thi Bwe, joint scretary 1 and Padoh Saw Roger Khin, head of the defense department.