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Myanmar cease-fire: Who are the Karen rebels?

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3. What do the Karen rebels want?

This is the first official step – ever – toward an official peace deal with the Karen, and the KNU released a list of demands they expect the Myanmar government to fulfill before a formal peace agreement can be reached.  These include implementing mechanisms to monitor the cease-fire, security guarantees for Karen communities, the end of forced labor and land reform, reports the BBC.  

An organization of exiled Karen people are calling for the cease-fire to go even further, tackling the deep-seated political issues behind the conflict in Karen and other ethnic regions, reports Mizzima.

“We have seen how human rights abuses have continued in other areas of Burma where there are ceasefires, and how the dictatorship used the ceasefires to extend its control and try to weaken the ethnic political parties which defended the people. A ceasefire alone tackles the symptoms, not the causes. There must also be political dialogue for a permanent political solution,” reads a Karen Communities Worldwide statement.

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