Statement by KPSN
Outbreak of heavy fighting along the newly completed highway from Myawaddy to Kawkareik demonstrates how large-scale development, when implemented before a permanent ceasefire and political agreement, exacerbates conflict, undermines the peace process, and jeopardizes the safety of civilians. All parties must immediately halt hostilities, and resolve issues related to the highway through dialogue in the peace process.
The Karen Peace Support Network (KPSN) is alarmed by recent fighting between the Burma Army and the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) along the recently completed section of the Asian Highway between Myawaddy and Kawkareik. The Burma Army began heavy fire on DKBA positions along the road in the early morning of 2 July. Fighting has lasted for one week, has spread to other parts of Karen State, and tensions remain high. This is the fourth instance of armed clashes in the area in the past year, breaking out amidst rising tensions over control of the highway, which is slated to officially open later this month.
Please see the full statement below!