Contact: Roland Watson, firstname.lastname@example.org
AUGUST UPDATE ON SITUATION IN KAREN STATE
September 20, 2011
We have a new post, an analysis of the current situation in Karen State, prepared by the Karen National Union.
Noteworthy points in the analysis include:
There are more than one hundred Burma Army camps in KNU areas. Regardless of the supposed thaw in Naypyidaw, troops from these camps are continuing to perpetrate crimes against humanity against the civilian population.
Three incidents are described in which Burma Army soldiers murdered a total of five villagers. Another villager died from the explosion of a BA mortar.
The Burma Army has used dozens of villagers, including women and children, to act as human shields and mine-sweepers.
Regarding the DKBA units that have rejoined the pro-democracy resistance, the KNU believes:
1) That they should rejoin the KNLA as a separate unit, as "the existence of two Karen armies causes confusion to the Karen population."
2) That the KNU, "which has consistently held an anti-drug policy," "has to make sure that the DKBA is no longer involved in the drug business before reunification."
In addition to the DKBA units, the KNU has received hundreds of defections from the Burma Army's remaining Karen BGF.
KNU leaders are active targets for assassination by the military regime, using its BGF troops.
The KNU is reclaiming territory in Pa-an and Thaton districts, and has regained its 7th Brigade bases.
The KNU appeals to the International Community "not to be misled again by the charm offensive launched by the military-backed Thein Sein government."
The KNU calls for:
1. A Commission of Inquiry to investigate the regime's war crimes.
2. The release of all political prisoners.
3. Freedom of thought and expression, including media freedom.
4. Freedom of movement and assembly.
5. More effective sanctions.
6. An international arms embargo.
7. International inspection of the regime's nuclear program.
8. A real ceasefire with the ethnic resistance forces, and their inclusion in a meaningful political dialogue.
9. Withdrawal of Burma Army troops from the ethnic areas.
10. Support for refugees and IDPs.