Yangon, Myanmar [06 Sept]: The Karen National Union (KNU) releases its stance regarding the current political situation in the country on 03 September. The statement reads, “The KNU continues its strong commitment and adherence to promoting federalism and democracy, working with any organization against the coup and fighting against any form of dictatorship”.
Some political analysts suggest that KNU is allegedly forced to issue this statement showing its clear political stance and clearing the rumours that have circulated online over the past few days. Previously, two high-profile leaders in KNU leadership apparatus, including the Chairman of KNU issued a private statement with a quick response by the KNU Concerned Group saying that these statements are individual and not reflecting the group’s view, which reaffirms the group’s unwavering commitment to fight against the military junta.
Online rumours alleged that the KNU relented to requests by the State Administrative Council not to provide a safe haven for the People Defense Forces and to provide the area locations of PDF camps. This rumour forced the KNLA (Karen National Liberation Army) to visit PDF camps up in the hills to reassure them that the KNLA will protect them.
The statement continues that “the KNU promises to provide assistance to anyone who seeks shelters and protection from Burmese military’s brutality and atrocities and will explore alternative approaches to bring genuine peace and stability to the country”.
KNU is one of the strongest ethnic armed organizations that has been fighting against the Burmese military, also known as the Tatmadaw, since its early independent days. The KNU is also one of the eight major armed organizations that signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in 2015, which subsequently led to political dialogue under the ousted government of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Since the coup on 01 February, the tension between the Myanmar military junta and KNU has escalated. The KNU has been fighting against the Myanmar military and provides shelters and military training to young people who fled the violent crackdowns and atrocities committed by Myanmar security forces during peaceful protests across the country.
“It will be good if NCA is respected, but NCA is dead since the military staged a coup d’état,” said the KNU General Saw Johnny during an interview with the Salween Press. “You can never trust the Burmese military as they never abide by their words,” he added.