Hpa-an, May (10)

The Karen National Union (KNU) has officially announced that it will not attend the peace talks invited by coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

The KNU announced on May 9 that it would not be able to attend the peace talks because the military council’s peace talks are not inclusive.

KNU spokesperson Pado Saw Taw Ni said, “inviting for peace talks without stopping the offensive is pointless, and we will not attend the talks. Although the military council has called for a ceasefire saying peace, the army is constantly attacking us. There is no reason for such a dialogue to take place.”

He added that if the military council invites the EAOs to peace talks, first of all it needs to stop being offensive; killing and torturing people as well as artillery shelling and air strikes. The military council, which had seized power through violence by force, had no right to convene a political dialogue.

“It is impossible for an illegal organization to call for political peace talks,” Pado Saw Taw Ni said, “we made it clear that they don’t have the right to call for peace talks. We have no reason to discuss because their organization is illegal. I want to say that the military council does not deserve any political dialogue.”

Coup leader Min Aung Hlaing said he wanted to meet with ethnic armed leaders to end the armed conflict and the representatives were requested to register for peace talks by May 9.

All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF); Kachin Independence Organization (KIO); The Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) and the Chin National Front (CNF) have all stated that they will not be attending the discussions.

However, the New Mon State Party (NMSP), Karen/KNLA Peace Council, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), and the Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO) will participate in the peace discussion, said Colonel Saw Kyaw Nyunt, a spokesperson for Peace Process Steering Committee (PPST).

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