Karen villagers calls on conflict between KTLA and KNU to resolved by meeting high-level leaders of both sides

The Kawthoolei Army (KTLA) was formed on July 19, 2022 by Major General Saw Nerdah Mya, who had been dismissed as the Commander-in-Chief of the Karen National Defense Organization (KNDO). The tensions between the two sides increased after some KNDO troops in the area of the KNU 4th Brigade,also defected to KTLA.

The KLTA breakaway armed faction marked a rejected of the civilian authority of the KNU over their military wings -the KNDO and the KNLA and undermined the common struggle of the KNU resistance movement. There has been simmering hostility ever since, i n spite of the KLTA’s commitment to also fight the coup-regime.

Some Karen people of Tanintharyi Region made a statement on February 20 that the highest leaders of both sides should meet and resolve the conflict between the Kawthoolei Army (KTLA) and the KNLA 4 th brigade in area of the Karen National Union (KNU).

The key issue that led to the general being sacked last year by the Karen National Union was the alleged killing of “25 suspected Burmese military spies” in one of his KNDO-controlled areas in southern Karen state.

The KNU prides itself on human treatment of both soldiers and civilians in their custody, and launched an internal investigation as to why the 25 civilians had been executed.

According to a Karen News report in August 2 nd 2022 General Ner Dah Mya refused to cooperated with the KNU investigation, and showed total lack of respect for. KNU rules of treatment of suspects and prisoners of war.

This Karen citizens statement refers to conflicts between the two sides in the various areas under their control, growing more and more tense with arrests, threats, and accusations. Their 5-point statement calls for a meeting and discussion between high- level leaders of KTLA and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) to find a solution as soon as possible.

When contacted by KIC-Karen news agency, KNU national leadership said that they did not want to make an official statement about the current conflict between KTLA and the KNU 4th Brigade.

Saw Gre Moo a KNG columnist and social worker argued that despite all the KNU disappointment and bitterness over General. Saw Nerdah launching of a Karen splinter army at this critical time, still it is in everybody’s interest for a reconciliation.

“ The stakes are high for the Karen people right now – KNU’s leaders and Gen. Ner Dah both know this. Unless they can find a compromise and resolve this peacefully, nobody is going to win – Gen. Min Aung Hlaing will certainly be cheering for a split. Despite his shortcomings and weakness, Gen. Ner Dah is still an important figure that we need him.”

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