IKO Statement Regarding Bamar Tatmadaw’s Shooting and Killing of Innocent Rakhine Civilian Populations

April 14, 2020

1. The IKO strongly protest and denounce acts of shooting and killing of the innocent Rakhine civilian populations by the Bamar/Burman Tatmadaw (Bamar Armed Forces) in its military operations, after declaring the Arakan Army (AA) as a terrorist organization by it and the Myanmar government.

2. The Bamar Tatmadaw’s acts in the Rakhine State today are similar to its acts in 4-Cut military campaign in the Karen State, where indiscriminate bombing by air, firing with small arms and heavy weapons on the innocent Karen civilian populations, using them as hostages, torturing and executing them and etc. were carried out. Accordingly, the IKO feel sympathetic for the Rakhine people, who have to bear the suffering.

3. Currently, while the people in various countries are in a state of fear and worry, due to the spread of Covid-19 pandemic all over the world, we see that the Bamar Tatmadaw is escalating its war in the Rakhine State. The question of the indigenous ethnic nationalities of Burma/Myanmar is a political question. As the authorities of successive Bamar governments have used only the military means mainly to try and settle the question of the indigenous ethnic nationalities, history of the civil war, which has been going on for more than 70 years, is witness to failure of the military means .

4. The AA has been a participant in the peace talks right from the beginning of the peace process. It is the IKO’s critical observation that the declaration against AA as a terrorist organization by the Tatmadaw and government has served as a warning to the other ethnic armed revolutionary organizations.

5. Today is the time when the ethnic armed revolutionary organizations, the Myanmar government and Bamar Tatmadaw are holding talks for peace in the country. It is the IKO’s considered opinion that the Bamar Tatmadaw’s launching of atrocious military operation against the AA, which is one of the ethnic armed revolutionary organizations, is a hindrance to the process of establishing a federal union, desired by the ethnic nationalities, and also the positions held by the Bamar Tatmadaw and Myanmar government have made it difficult for the peace process to proceed forward.

6. At a time when the people of Myanmar are facing the dreadful worldwide pandemic plague, Bamar Tatmadaw’s military operations and activities in some of the lands of the ethnic nationalities, including the Rakhine State, have made innumerable people to suffer severely. Due to the ongoing worldwide plague, while the UN is requesting for the cessation of war, Bamar Tatmadaw continues to escalate its war of aggression. For the security of life of the innocent people, the IKO earnestly calls on the Myanmar government and Bamar Tatmadaw to stop the war immediately, in the entire domain of the country.

Central Executive Committee International Karen Organization

Media Contact:
Saw Zaw Naung (Burmese)
(+47)411 72 576

Saw Dai Lai Htoo (Karen, English)
(+1) 267 226 3351

Saw Nicky Zaw (Karen, English)
(+1) 612 382 4782

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