Fighting Breaks Out Between NMSP, KNU in Dawei District


Friday, October 18, 2019

Clashes broke out between the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Karen National Union (KNU) on Thursday morning in two locations in Tanintharyi Region’s Dawei District, according to NMSP sources.

“Clashes broke out in Balae Donfive and the Ye Chaung Hpyar area,” NMSP central committee member Nai Lawi Mon told NMG, adding that the clash in Ye Chaung Hypar was “minor” and that he was still awaiting a field report on the fighting in Balae Donfive.

Padoh Win Khine, a liaison officer in the KNU’s Brigade 4 Myeik-Dawei liaison office, said that a clash occurred in the KNU’s Brigade 6 area, but that he did not know further details.

“It was not a face-to-face clash,” he told NMG, adding that it was possibly in the Ye Chaung Hpyar area. Padoh Win Khine added that other armed groups were active in the area, as well, and may have been involved.

The NMSP alleged that the KNU attacked their base camps in the two locations. At the time of reporting, NMG could not independently confirm how the clashes began.

The NMSP and KNU initially engaged in intense clashes over a territorial dispute in 1988. Fighting reignited in 2016, over territory and issues surrounding timber smuggling. They have had at least six clashes in Tanintharyi’s Yephyu Township in recent years, and in Mon State’s Ye Township.

Both the NMSP and the KNU are signatories to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement with the Burmese government and military.

In September, the NMSP and a breakaway group of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) clashed near Three Pagodas Pass near the Thai-Burma border, when the DKBA breakaway group tried to build a military camp in an NMSP-controlled area.