By Independent Mon News Agency - Burmese government troops have stopped their military offensive against Karen National Union’s (KNU) Brigade 6 of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) near Three Pagodas Pass. Instead the military has headed north to fight against another ethnic armed group, the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N).
Captain Htat Nay of KNLA Brigade 6 said, “There has been almost no military offensive here starting April 15th because they [the Burmese army] sent their troops to Shan State.”
The Burmese government troops started fighting the SSA-N in the middle of March.
This is a big change from the conflict that began after the November elections in 2010. At that time KNLA troops, along with Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) troops fought with the Burmese government up to three times per day.
Now that the military is no longer focused on the KNLA areas of control, they have reopened a main motorway from Thanphyuzyart to Three Pagodas Pass. This road is an important trade route that had been closed for five months.
KNLA also opened allowed formerly closed mining areas to reopen. Now, Thai and Burmese companies have been given the permission to mine as long as they pay a tax. There are at least five mining spots in the KNLA control areas.
“The people are very happy with this situation. If the situation keeps going like this, development will get better and the people’s living situations will get better too,” said Thu Rain, an economic and political observer in Three Pagodas Pass Township.
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