Karen and Mon Armed Groups Leaders Agree on Measures to Try to Prevent Future Conflicts

Leaders from the Karen National Union and the News Mon State Party agreed more effort is needed to prevent territorial disputes between the two groups. Both parties met on October 15, at an undisclosed location on the Thai-Burma border to discuss their concerns about territory.

The latest disputes resulted in armed conflict between the two ethnic armed groups in early September this year. At the meeting, leaders from both parties agreed to stop put an end to the armed disputes from happening in the future.

Padoh Saw Thaw Thi Bwe, the joint general secretary of the KNU and leader of the Karen delegation spoke to Karen News.

“We didn’t dwell on the problem, but tried to find solution. Both sides have to control their organizations to stop the problems from happening. We all agreed to do everything we can to make it work.”

At the meeting, 14 members from the KNU led by Padoh Saw Thaw Thi Bwe and 12 members of the NMSP led by Naing Han Tha, the vice chairman of the NMSP attended the discussions to settle their territorial disputes and to put in place a joint committee in both Mon and Karen community areas.

The on-going territorial dispute between the Karen and Mon has at times flared into armed tension between the two groups.

Naing Han Tha, the NMSP delegation leader, said that the problems between the two groups have never been completely solved. Naing Han Tha said given the current political situation in Burma, the Mon and Karen issue would only be completely solved when the country’s political situation is stable.

“I think that territorial dispute should be settled by negotiating when it is peaceful [in the country].”

Both delegations reached an agreement that there would not be any more armed conflict between the KNU and NMSP. Both groups agreed to the reappointment of a joint administrative committee and a demarcation committee, that was formed in 2006 and 2007 in 24 villages in the Taung Pauk areas.

The last territorial disputes that resulted in armed clash between the two armed groups was in 8th September, near Thaegyaung village in Kalainaung sub-township of Yephyu Township, in Burma’s southern Tanintharyi Region.

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