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KNU to try and reunite breakaway DKBA

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Serious confabulations are on in some KNLA battalions under the command of the KNU’s 6th Brigade, where ways are being explored to reunite with its breakaway faction the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA).

Should the exploratory moves bear fruit, it will be a blow to the Burmese military junta, which has been pitting the two Karen groups against each other.

Some commanders from the 16th and 17th Battalions of the KNLA in Duplaya District, Karen State, which is under the control of KNLA’s 6th Brigade have started coordinating among themselves to reinstate members of the breakaway faction.

“It is not possible to demote them from platoon commanders to section commanders when they come back to the fold. We must see to their not losing their status. If someone comes back with a section, he will be made a section commander. Those that come back with a platoon will be given platoon commander status. This was our discussion in brief,” an officer of the KNLA told Mizzima on condition of anonymity.

The plan afoot is yet to be forwarded to the 18th Battalion in the 6th Brigade for discussions but it has been sent to 6th Brigade Commander.

The armed conflict among Karen nationalities will not end through violence. At the grassroots level we have circulated our plan of reuniting with the breakaway faction to district officials and the Brigade. The high command is yet to reply to our proposal," he said.

The KNU Vice-Chairman said the plan would be implemented if found appropriate, when it reaches the KNU headquarters.

"We do not know about it yet. There is a committee to deal with DKBA affairs in each district. If they send the plan to the headquarters, we will discuss and consider it. If we deem it fit and proper we shall implement it. We shall advice and lead them in this regard," KNU Vice-Chairman Saw David Takapaw told Mizzima.

An officer of the DKBA said that he thought it would be difficult to implement this plan but they would abide and comply with the decision reached by the high commands from either side.

"I have no idea of how to reach this stage (reuniting with the mother unit). The situation on both sides -- the situation in Burma and the situation of exile based units, need to be considered. Anyway if our seniors agree we have no problem with the plan," he said.

The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) led by Tha Htoo Kyaw split from the mother unit the Karen National Union (KNU) in 1994. They are now based in Myaing Gyi Ngu village, Hlaing Bwe Township, Karen State.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 August 2009 13:55 )  

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