Karen Peace Support Network: Statement in Support of Karen People Gathering in Washington D.C

The Karen Peace Support Network (KPSN) fully supports the gathering of Karen people and their supporters in Washington, D.C. today. We support the goals established by the Karen gathering to raise awareness of the actions of the Burmese military, to reinstate sanctions against the Burmese government particularly the military, and stop all sales of military equipment and equipment that can be used for military purposes.

The attacks by the military are decades old. Their current actions in Rakhine State, western Burma are the latest example of their tactics and their goals to suppress minorities such as the Rohingya within Burma. The Burmese military continues to act with impunity against the Karen, the Karenni, the Kachin, the Shan, and many other ethnic groups within the country.

In this current situation of conflict and militarisation, many ethnic minorities still face human rights abuses and many displaced people, including Karen, are not able to return to their villages due to fear of the military, continued military campaigns in their area, and landmine contamination.

We also strongly recommend that the US Government entirely cease military-to-military engagement. Furthermore, the US government must reinstate funding for refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDPs). The current cuts and funding elimination in refugee and IDP camps along the northeastern border of Burma is creating a humanitarian crisis. Communities affected by conflict need the support from the United States and other governments in order to survive until genuine peace can be achieved.

KPSN is the largest Karen civil society network consisting of 29 organizations in Burma. Its members have been providing support for vulnerable people and communities in this conflict torn region for decades, striving to empower local communities, building transparent and accountable institutions, and helping to create a sustainable and equitable peace in Burma.

Steering Committee Karen Peace Support Network

Contact Persons:

1. Paul Sein Twa (+66) 081-724-7093

2. Kyaw Swar (+95) 09794952056

Download the statement HERE.

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