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DKBA battalion signs a cease-fire with the Burmese government

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – One battalion of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and the Burmese government agreed to a cease-fire on Thursday, the leader of the battalion said.

DKBA Major General Saw La Bwe, aka Bo Moustache.Major General Saw La Bwe, aka Bo Moustache, said the cease-fire would go into effect on Sunday.
According to the agreement, the headquarters of the battalion will be in the Soneseemyaing area in Myawaddy District, on the east side of Dawna Mountain in Karen State. The battalion’s troops in Karen State will remain in place.

The cease-fire agreement was achieved at the second meeting between the battalion and government representatives. The battalion has an estimated 1,000 soldiers, and it had refused to transform itself into a Border Guard Force (BGF), leading it to break away from its brother units in the DKBA.

Also representing the battalion were Deputy Chief of Staff Brigadier General Mo Shay, Colonel E Do, Colonel Sein Win and Colonel Maung Lay.

In the negotiations, the government did not urge the unit to transform itself into a BGF, said the DKBA.
Under the agreement, the DKBA will have the right to collect taxes in its control area.
Recently, the government has been involved in trying to achieve cease-fires with several ethnic armed groups. It has reached cease-fire agreements with the United Wa State Army (Wa Region 2), and the Mong La group (Special Region 4). The DKBA battalion is the third group to achieve a cease-fire in recent government talks.  
DKBA Brigadier General Mo Shay told Mizzima earlier that the first meeting with government representatives was held on October 26 in Mawlamyaing, Mon State, in which both sides agreed not to undertake activities outside their respective control areas. At that time, the DKBA requested permits to open DKBA offices in Hpaan (the capital of Karen State), Kyainseikkyi, Three Pagoda Pass, Kyaikdon, Kawkareik and Myawaddy townships in Karen State.  
The DKBA battalion fought government troops starting on November 8, 2010, with assistance from the Karen National Union [KNU] and the All Burma Students' Democratic Front. Meanwhile, a small DKBA group led by Major Saw Bi, which earlier had transformed itself into a BGF, went underground again and has now established an alliance with the KNU.

The DKBA separated from the KNU in 1994. On August 18, 2010, many DKBA battalions agreed to transform into BGFs under the command of the Ministry of Defence.

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