KNPP Turns Down Peace Talks With Regime

By Network Media Group
Wednesday, January 19, 2022

A Karenni armed group has rejected the junta’s call for peace talks, because its forces have been attacking them with air strikes, shelling and armoured vehicles for a fortnight, killing innocent civilians.

”The military junta has destroyed everything,” said Aung San Myint, second secretary of the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), whose armed wing, the Karenni Army (KA), is fighting the dictatorship along with several groups resisting its rule in Karenni State.

The regime’s leader, Min Aung Hlaing, said that he wanted peace, stability and development in a letter he sent to the KNPP on 15 January, when the Karenni armed group commemorated the 70th anniversary of Kayah (Karenni) State Day. ”We offer talks to build lasting peace in the state for the next generation,” the letter reads.

Aung San Myint said the many war crimes committed by the regime since fighting began last May could never be forgotten.

According to the Karenni Civil Society Network, at least 170,000 civilians in Karenni State and southern Shan State have been displaced by regime offensives that has killed 182 people and destroyed many homes and churches since the coup almost a year ago.

”We refuse to negotiate with the military regime within the framework of the 2008 Constitution,” Aung San Myint said. He said they’re committed to building a federal democratic union with the interim National Unity Government, established by lawmakers ousted by the regime. The army chief had made them an offer of peace talks to divert attention from the regime’s crimes against humanity, he said, and was not serious about ending the conflict.

”The world knows about the junta’s human rights violations. Even though the junta claims that the fighting is a domestic affair, in reality it has lost face before the international community” because of its ”massacres” and ”crimes against humanity”.

On Monday, fighter jets bombed two camps for displaced civilians, killing two children and one man. On Christmas Eve, the army murdered at least 35 villagers from Mo So who had fled the fighting in Hpruso Township, some of whom ended up in one the camps attacked this week.

Despite Min Aung Hlaing’s so-called peace offer, fighting with KA, the Karenni Nationalities Defence Force and the People’s Defence Force in Hpruso, Loikaw, Demoso and Shadaw townships has escalated since 6 January, forcing even more civilians to join the thousands who have already fled to the jungle or southern Shan State.