The Karen National Union (KNU) and New Mon State Party (NMSP) have agreed upon two points at Wednesday’s meeting with Tanintharyi Region’s Government in Tanintharyi Region.The KNU and NMSP verbally accepted at the meeting, held on January 25, at Tanintharyi Region Government’s office, in Dawei City, for both sides to stop fighting and end the disturbance to civilians.
At the meeting, in front of Tanintharyi Region Government, both parties agreed, albeit only verbally, to supervise their men in the region to avoid clashes and suffering to the local people thus allowing them to work in their orchards and plantations peacefully and freely, according to Nai Aye Ka, Chair of the NMSP’s Dawei District.
“It was verbally that both sides agreed. There was no signing of documents. The [Tanintharyi] region government also mainly focused on these two points and held a discussion over the two points,” said Nai Aye Ka.
“At this meeting, if we discuss the territory issue, it won’t end. However, we will take time and discuss that,” said Nai Aye Ka, adding that both sides will maintain the agreement of the two points and keep watchful eyes on each side’s movements.
Although the MNA tried to contact officials of the KNU delegation for confirmation of the meeting’s outcomes, MNA could not connect as the spokesperson’s phone was switched off.
The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), armed wing of KNU and the Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA), armed wing of NMSP, have clashed over 4 times sporadically since October, 2016. The most recent skirmishes between the two ethnic armed groups broke out on January 11 – clashing twice on the same day.
According to the details made during the ceasefire agreement signed between the NMSP and the then government in 1995 and also during the state level and union level ceasefire agreements signed in 2012, the Tatmadaw demarcated 18 locations for NMSP bases. This also included the Kin-chaung-pyar area, in Yebyu Township, where the recent skirmishes between the troops of the NMSP and the KNU took place, according to NMSP Headquarters.
However, although the KNU signed have not only the state-level and union level ceasefire agreement but also the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA), the government and Tatmadaw have yet to assign areas for KNU bases.