Tatmadaw and KNU to meet in Kyaukkyi for engagements in Papun area

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JMC-U secretary (1) Dr. Shwe Kha and JMC-U secretary (2) Col. Wunna Aung meeting with local and foreign media at the press conference following the meeting of JMC-U. Photo: Pho Htaung

The second day meeting of 15th Union Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC-U) was held yesterday morning in the National Reconciliation and Peace Center on Shweli Road, Yangon.
After the meeting, JMC-U secretary (1) Dr. Shwe Kha and JMC-U secretary (2)Col. Wunna Aung met with local and foreign news media to explain about two days discussion in the JMC-U and engagements between Tatmadaw and Karen National Union (KNU) Brigade 5 in Papun district that started on 5 March.
There had been engagement between Tatmadaw and KNU Brigade 5 in Papun District starting from 5 March as Tatmadaw was constructing a road to send provisions to Tatmadaw front-line headquarters in Lwe Mu Plaw and Khay Pu before the onslaught of the raining season.
Speaking about the engagements, Col. Wunna Aung said “Our front-line headquarters are in Lwe Mu Plaw and Khay Pu and we are arranging to stockpile provisions before the rain starts. In order to do this a road for vehicles to transport the provisions had to be built. There are about eleven Kayin villages between Khay Pu and Lwe Mu Plaw. After sending the provisions, Tatmadaw (vehicles) will return to their own places. The existence of a road would be very beneficial for regional development. It will permit motorcycle transport. But the other side is concerned of what we’ll do with this road. On the one side, regional development and good administration is required. It means we need to coordinate more. That is why this was discussed in detail today and civilians mediate between the two sites. It is decided for Tatmadaw, KNU and KNLA (PC) leaders to meet in Kyaukkyi.”
After the second day meeting of 15th JMC-U, civilian representatives from different levels of JMC formed a coordinating team to resolve the engagements that had occurred and decided for leaders from Tatmadaw and KNU-KNLA(PC) to meeting in Bago Region, Kyaukkyi on either 29 or 30 March.
Dr. Shwe Kha explained about JMC’s response on the matter of the engagement
Explaining about JMC’s response to the engagements, Dr. Shwe Kha said “There were some minor skirmishes on 5 March. We try to contain the situation so that it wouldn’t become widespread. In the last 3-4 days, JMC sent Reverend Saw Matthew and U Zaw Htoo Blat to meet Brigade 5 commander. The aim was to setup a meeting between the commanders of the two sides. Good results were achieved.”
In the meeting scheduled for end March in Kyaukkyi Township leaders from Tatmadaw will participate while from the KNU side, Brigade 5 as well as central level commanders will part take in it said Dr. Shwe Kha.
“On this matter Tatmadaw explained clearly that it is simply building a road that was not intended for offensive action or to disrupt the peace. Some from the KNU side said this is a preparation for an offensive. This can be resolved if the commanders of the two sides meet and attempts were made for the commanders to meet. This is a very good outcome,” said Dr. Shwe Kha on the skirmishes that had occurred.
At the 15th JMC-U meeting held today, it was decided to hold the fourth meeting of JMC civilian representatives during the second week of July 2018 in Papun, Kayin State to strengthen the peace process and to achieve more progress.


By Ye Kaung Nyunt


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