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Dissident Groups Call For Peace Between Burmese Government and Ethnic Armies

on July 12, 2011

A coalition of nine dissident groups from inside Burma, called +9 Orgs, issued a statement this week calling on the Burmese government to make peace with ethnic armies. The statement said the ongoing civil war in Burma is not just an issue between the army and ethnic groups, but that it concerns everyone in Burma who wants democracy.

“We believe that peace could not be achieved without democracy whereas there could be no democracy without peace,” the coalition said.

Conflicts between the army and ethnic militias in Shan, Karen, Mon, and Kachin states, and previous attempts by the army to transform ethnic militias into army-controlled Border Guard Forces, were given as examples of “clear proof of military regime's lack of a sincere wish for national peace.”

The statement also claimed that the immediate cause of the conflict in Kachin State is a hydroelectric project started by the military regime “for its own interests,” but that the root cause of the problem is the regime’s “failure to provide equal rights to ethnic nationalities.”

PHR supports +9 Orgs’ calls for an end to the civil war in Burma and demands for ethnic minorities to be treated with equal rights.

+9 Orgs comprises:  All Burma Monks’ Alliance, The 88 Generation Students, Arakan Ray, Democratic Students and Youths Force in Rangoon Division, All Burma Federation of Student Unions, 2007 Generation Students Union, Arakan Students Union, All Burma Youths Union, and Basic Education Students Union.

Places: Burma