Ethnic Karens Call for Peace in Burma

Posted March 5th, 2012 at 4:35 am (UTC-5)
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Burma's ethnic Karens called Monday for genuine peace in Burma and for national reconciliation leading toward the establishment of a federal union.

In a press release, the Karen National Unity Committee said that despite political reforms under a new civilian government, the situation in Karen areas has not improved and the rights and protection of the Karen have not been guaranteed.

The committee said a Karen Worldwide Conference was held in Karen state from February 27 to March 1. The meeting was attended by 167 representatives from Karen communities, women, youth and other Karen organizations from Burma and overseas.

The committee called on the international community to maintain pressure on the Burmese government until a genuine peace is achieved. The delegates also called for the release of all political prisoners.

Burma signed a cease-fire with Karen rebels in January, in a move toward ending one of the world's longest-running insurgencies and meeting a key condition for improved ties with the West.

The agreement marked the first declared break in fighting between the government and the rebel force since just after the country gained independence from Britain in 1948.