The ethnic Karenni armed group, Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), opened its first office today in Loikaw, after signing a ceasefire agreement with the Union government on March 7, 2012.
The KNPP liaison office is serving as the party’s central office, though KNPP plans to also open sub-offices in Karenni State (Kayah State), according to KNPP General Secretary 1 Khu Oo Reh.
“This is our central office. We plan to open another three offices like it. We will continue opening offices at the end of this month.”
In attendance at the opening ceremony were Karenni State Chief Minister U Mya and his ministers, KNPP central committees, and city government officials.
On March 7, the Union Peace Implementation Committee, led by Railway Minister U Aung Min and the Eastern Committee Chief Commander Maj. Gen. Soe Htut held a meeting in Loikaw with KNPP representatives including Commander-in-Chief Bee Htoo, General Secretary Khu Oo Reh, and nine other leaders to discuss a ceasefire.
That same day, the Union government and KNPP successfully reached a ceasefire agreement. The parties agreed to cease all fighting, and KNPP was given permission to open offices in cities in Kayah State.
KNPP listed a total of twenty demands during the March ceasefire talks, including the commencement of a countrywide ceasefire, an end to military operations in Kayah State, and demilitarization of the Burmese Army in Kayah and other states. Union peace representatives agreed to each point, but said they must relay the demands to the Union Government during the next political session, and expressed that some of the points will be brought up to President U Thein Sein.
In March 1995, the KNPP reached a ceasefire agreement with the former military government, but it lasted only three months.
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