Ethnic Karen leaders have announced that the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), signed between the government and ethnic armed groups, is no longer valid due to the military coup.
Led by Naw Zipporah Sein, a former vice chairwoman of the Karen National Union (KNU), the KNU Concerned Group (CG) was formed in 2017 and includes former KNU leaders and engages in Karen political and human rights issues.
“To review the NCA, the military after its coup unfairly arrested protesters, politicians and journalists and committed extrajudicial killings. So we can assume that the NCA is null and void,” Naw Zipporah Sein told The Irrawaddy.
She said the NCA was designed by Myanmar’s military as part of the 2008 Constitution to force ethnic revolutionary organizations to give up their arms.
In its statement, the CG said it would support the parallel civilian National Unity Government (NUG) in administrative, military and diplomatic matters.
The CG said it shared the NUG’s objectives for equality and self-determination for ethnic groups and a federal union.
It urged the ethnic armed groups and People’s Defense Forces to work together to defeat the military dictatorship and establish a federal, democratic union.
KNU leader General Saw Mutu Sae Poe in May backed talks with Myanmar’s military regime and said he would stick to the NCA. A month later, Saw Johnny, the chief of staff of the Karen National Liberation Army, the KNU’s armed wing, seconded the KNU leader’s stance and said he would follow the NCA framework.
The NCA was originally signed between eight ethnic armed groups, including the KNU, and President U Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government on Oct. 15, 2015.
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