Worry continues despite withdrawal of Burmese troops from NMSP controlled areas

September 14, 2017

HURFOM: According to reports, on August 10th 2017, around 70 Burmese military troops were ordered back from the New Mon State Party (NMSP) controlled Kanbauk village area in Kyar Inn Seik Kyi Township, Karen State, leaving approximately 30 active Burmese Army troops. Despite the withdrawal of the troops, worry of future conflict still remains among villagers.

On the evening of August 10th the Burmese troops went back. But [we worry] they will come back again. We can’t stay calm even though there is no more [Burmese Army] troops coming into our region. We’re worrying that they [NMSP and the Burmese Army] will fight each other again like in the past,” said Nai Jel Toi Nai of Kyar Inn Seik Kyi Township.

Burmese troops were active in the NMSP controlled area during Mon Revolution Day on August 7th 2017; however, the Burmese Army reduced the number of active troops after both sides talked in Ye and Mawlamyine in Mon State.

The villagers are worrying that armed conflict will break out like in the past. The community members want the NMSP, the KNU (Karen National Union), and the [Burmese] government to maintain the ceasefire agreement. They want to live peacefully. They have settled down very well and have a fair livelihood and property in their villages. The villagers don’t want that the armed clashes break out again,” said Nai Ba Nyar Lel, an executive committee member of the NMSP.

The 30 Burmese Army troops who are active in the NMSP controlled area in Kyar Inn Seik Kyi Township are from Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #32 that is commanded by Captain Myat Kyaw Linn.

Now, as the season for harvesting rubber is approaching, local villagers in Kyar Inn Seik Kyi are worrying that the active Burmese troops will interrupt their daily work.

According to a local source, civilian and Buddhist communities want the NMSP to sign the National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in order to guarantee a ceasefire with the Burmese Army.

Tensions between the two groups grew after the NMSP ignored orders from the Burmese military to refrain from holding military parades in uniform during the 70th anniversary of Mon National Revolution Day on August 7th 2017.



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