Monday, August 27, 2012

Gov’t cancels scheduled peace meeting with KNU

Monday, 27 August 2012 14:36 Mizzima News

The Burmese government has unilaterally postponed the third round of cease-fire negotiations with the Karen National Union (KNU), previously scheduled for August 27-29 in Pa’an in Karen State, according to a KNU statement on xx.

Burmese government and Karen National Union officials met at the Aye Chan Pyo guesthouse in Myawaddy on August 6, 2012. The two sides agreed to hold a three-day meeting on August 27 in Hpa-an to discuss a cease-fire code of conduct. Photo: Karen News

The KNU said it is disappointed that the negotiations will not take place as previously scheduled and will work with the government in good faith to move forward with talks as soon as possible.

The parties had agreed to the negotiation dates during a preliminary meeting on August 5. A troop code of conduct and withdrawals were to be further discussed, as agreed by both parties during union-level negotiations in Rangoon on April 6.

The Karen National Union statement said it considered each step in the cease-fire negotiation process to be an opportunity to build trust between the parties, and trust is essential to implement any cease-fire agreement.

It called upon the government to move forward with the negotiations in a way that would build confidence and trust between the parties.

On May 10, Mizzima reported ethnic armed groups and others welcomed the Burmese government’s newly formed union-level peace committee, especially the inclusion of the high-level government and military officials.

They expressed hope that the peace negotiations would be more effective with the inclusion of the president, vice president and top military officers on the peace committee.

KNU peace delegation Secretary Pado David Taw said it was important that the committee included top military commanders, who can give direct orders to the armed forces to implement the various cease-fire and other agreements.

The government committee should be “more effective in peace negotiations and the peace process,” he said.

Military analyst Aung Kyaw Zaw, who lives on the Sino-Burma border, said the new committee was more inclusive because it included many more decision makers in politics and the military.

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