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UNFC expects KNU to return

Reported by: > The Karen National Union (KNU) has temporarily suspended its participation with the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an

alliance of Burma’s ethnic armed groups. However, the UNFC expects the group to return to the alliance once the KNU has held a negotiating meeting, according to the UNFC’s newly-elected General Secretary Khu Oo Reh.

The UNFC continues to reserve two positions for KNU representatives, since the KNU has not permanently resigned. The UNFC hopes that the KNU will return to the alliance once the group holds a central committee conference within the KNU.

“[The] KNU will send its representatives [to the] UNFC. But, whether it does or not, we will only know after [its] central committee meeting. [The] KNU was one of the UNFC’s 6-major members since its inception. It recognizes that the sector of KNU’s duties is not yet complete; thus, we reserve the positions [for the KNU],” said Khu Oo Reh.

According to a statement released at the UNFC’s first congress, the UNFC has opened two leading positions to be filled by KNU representatives when the group returns to the UNFC.

Whether the KNU will return to the ethnic alliance will only be known after the KNU has held it central committee conference.

“We, KNU members, have to negotiate within [the] KNU. Whether we will return to [the] UNFC, or not, will only be found out after holding [a] central committee conference,” said KNU Vice-Chairman Naw Zipporah Sein.

The UNFC’s KNU representatives walked out of the alliance’s first congress, held on August 31st, and announced temporarily suspended of their UNFC membership on September 1st.

The UNFC’s first congress was held in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai. The conference lasted seven days, and drew attendance of about 90 representatives from the UNFC’s twelve member groups, and five related groups. On the last day of the conference, the alliance elected new leaders for the 2014-2016 term, as well as reserving two top positions for KNU representatives.

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