KNU lays out con­di­tions to re­join­ing peace talks

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - CHAN THAR chan­[email protected]­times.com

The Karen Na­tional Union said it will re­sume its par­tic­i­pa­tion in the na­tional peace process only af­ter the res­o­lu­tion of key stum­bling blocks to the on­go­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions.

THE Karen Na­tional Union (KNU) said its re­turn to the peace process de­pend son the re­sults of the in­for­mal meet­ings be­tween the gov­ern­ment and other armed eth­nic groups.

It said in a state­ment over the week­end that it will look at how the in­for­mal meet­ings ad­dress the stum­bling blocks in the peace process.

“It de­pends on the coun­try’s lead­ers,” said Pado Saw Tar Do Mu, KNU gen­eral sec­re­tary.

KNU sus­pended its par­tic­i­pa­tion in the peace process on Novem­ber 10, say­ing it needed to brief its mem­bers on what hap­pened in the talks dur­ing the past two years.

The talks have hit a stale­mate over sev­eral is­sues, in­clud­ing the mil­i­tary in­sis­tence on link­ing “non-se­ces­sion” to the armed eth­nic groups’ right to self de­ter­mi­na­tion and to draft state con­sti­tu­tions.

“What is most dif­fi­cult in the Na­tion­wide Cease­fire Agree­ment is achiev­ing equal­ity and build­ing a demo­cratic fed­eral union with full au­ton­omy,” he said.

Pado Saw Tar Do Mu also said ways must be sought to im­prove po­lit­i­cal di­a­logue with­out pre­con­di­tions.

The leader urged both the Tat­madaw (mil­i­tary) and KNU to re­solve their con­flict in a peace­ful man­ner and through ne­go­ti­a­tions.

“The Rakhine peo­ple must have the right to de­cide their fate. The most im­por­tant is­sue is self-de­ter­mi­na­tion. In­ter­ven­tion in oth­ers’ af­fairs should stop,” he said.

He called on the Rakhine peo­ple to find a new way to push for their goals and as­pi­ra­tions.

“Some­times we have to fight with arms, but the only way to find a so­lu­tion is through peace­ful ne­go­ti­a­tion of the is­sues, he said.

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