Trupper under firandet av Karen Revolution Day 31 januari 2020. Foto: V-Victory / Shutterstock.com
Karenorganisationer i gemensamt uttalande med anledning av upptrappat våld i sydöstra Burma
Kommentar, Stockholm, 28 januari 2021
Europeiska regeringar måste fördöma den burmesiska militärens angrepp mot civila i delstaten Kayin (även kallad Karen). Som stora givare till Joint Peace Fund bör de kräva att fonden upphör att finansiera fredsprocessen tills dess att militären drar sig tillbaka från omstridda territorier i landets minoritetsområden. Dessa uppmaningar förs fram i ett uttalande från det Europeiska karennätverket (European Karen Network) som samlar Karenorganisationer i Europa.
Uttalandet görs med anledning av den förvärrade situationen i sydöstra Burma. Sedan en tid tillbaka har stridigheterna trappats upp mellan den burmesiska militären och Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), den väpnade grenen av rebellgruppen Karen National Union (KNU), i delstaten Kayin. Detta trots att KNU skrivit under det nationella eldupphöravtalet (Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, NCA). KNU har vid flera tillfällen anklagat militären för att bryta mot avtalet genom att öka sin truppnärvaro i delstaten. Tusentals civila uppges ha flytt den senaste tidens stridigheter som beskrivs som de allvarligaste på länge.
Du hittar uttalandet från det Europeiska karennätverket via den här länken eller som text nedan.
Statement by the European Karen Network
Tuesday 26 January 2021
European Countries Must Pressure Burma Military To End Attacks in Karen State
The European Karen Network, representing ethnic Karen communities in European countries, calls upon the European Union and other European nations to end their silence on escalating attacks by the Burma Army against civilians in Karen State.
Since early December 2020 the Burma Army has been deliberately firing artillery shells into civilian areas, breaking the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). The attacks against civilian villages are taking place in Mutraw (Papun) and Kler Lwe Htoo (Nyaunglebin) districts of northern Karen State. One civilian has been killed and two injured, including a child. These attacks are war crimes.
The EU and other European nations have been silent about these attacks, despite being the main donors to the Joint Peace Fund, which is supposed to support the peace process in Burma.
We call on the European Union, United Kingdom, Norway, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany, as donors to the Joint Peace Fund, to demand an immediate end to the indiscriminate targeting by the Burma Army of civilians in Karen state.
4,000 people are now hiding in the jungle without food and shelter as a direct result of mortar shelling and increased militarisation by the Burma Army. Humanitarian assistance to them is being restricted, which is also an international crime. The EU and other Joint Peace Fund donors should immediately demand unrestricted humanitarian access to these newly displaced villagers.
Since the peace process began in 2012 there has been an increase in conflict nationwide. Karen State was one of the few areas where there was a significant reduction in conflict. However, we have seen increased militarisation by the Burma Army and hundreds of incidents of the Burma Army breaking the terms of the NCA. Now even in our home state villagers are again fleeing for their lives, just as most members of the Karen community in Europe fled for our lives under attack by the Burma Army.
After more than eight years it is clear that the current peace process is deeply flawed and is not bringing peace or bringing us closer to a genuine political settlement that will help bring lasting peace. The current International support for the peace process is in danger of delaying progress in creating a workable process to bring real peace to our country.
We support the call of the Karen Peace Support Network, representing a broad range of Karen civil society, in their call for the Burma Army to withdraw from contested areas in Karen State.
The Joint Peace Fund must suspend all support to the peace process until the Burma Army withdraws from contested areas in ethnic states nationwide, and until the government and military allow unrestricted humanitarian assistance to people displaced by conflict and militarisation of ethnic lands by the Burma Army. We call upon the European Union and other European countries to work with other Joint Peace Fund donors to ensure that these steps are preconditions to further support to the peace process.