KNU’s Demands Military Road Construction Halt in Taungoo

The KNU released a statement declaring the road as a military extension, rather than a project to serve the citizens in the area.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Karen National Union (KNU) in Taungoo District called for the Burmese Army to stop the construction of a road in the area.

The move came during the 6thConference of the KNU in the area.

“In practice, this road construction is better for the Burma Army than as good transportation for civilians,” the Karen National Liberation Army’s (KNLA) Lt-Col Saw Tun Kel told NMG. “Therefore, we call on the Burma Army to stop road construction in our area because this road construction is for military purposes.”

According to Lt. Col. Saw Tun Kel, even though the KNU has signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement with the government, they are still concerned about military affairs.

“In reality, we have signed the ceasefire agreement but we are still worried. It’s because political dialogue and negotiation are in a deadlock. I don’t exactly know what will happen,” Lt. Col. Saw Tun Kel said.

The Burma Army reported to the KNU’s Brigade 2 about road construction in their control area in the Taungoo district. The KNU does not want to allow the construction to ahead under the current circumstances.

At the end of the conference, the KNU’s branch in Taungoo released a statement declaring the road as a military extension, with military advantages, rather than a project intended to serve the development of citizens in the area. The road would link Taungoo, Nyaung Lay Pin, and Mutraw district, also known in Burmese as Hpapun.

“In this situation, we have to discuss it. They should respect us. They should respect what we demand in order to have mutual trust,” Lt-Col Saw Tun Kel said.

Road construction has been a source of fighting between the Burma Army and the KNU in the past, causing many locals to flee the area.