Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP/KA)

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Karenni National Progressive Party/ Karenni Army (KNPP/KA)

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SUMMARY

Date of the KA’s Establishment: 17 August 1948

Date of the KNPP’s Establishment: 2 May 1957

Headquarters: Nyar Mu, Shardaw Township, Karenni (Kayah) State.

Active Territories: Loikaw, Demoso, Hpruso, Shadaw, Hpasawng, Mese, Mawchee and Bawlakhe Townships in Karenni (Kayah) State.

Strength: More than 2,000

Chair – Khu Oo Reh

Vice Chair – Khun Abel Tweed

Secretary-1 – Khu Daniel

KA’s Military Chief: Brig – Gen Aung Myat

The KNPP signed a 16-point ceasefire agreement with the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) on 21 March 1995. However, three months later, on 29 June, fighting between the two sides broke out, and the ceasefire agreement was voided. In the time of the U Thein Sein administration, it participated in the peace process together with the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC). In March and June 2012, the state-level and union- level ceasefire agreements were signed. At the time of the signing of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in 2015, it refused to sign. It held true to the principle of including all ethnic armed resistance groups. The KNPP issued a three-point statement on 24 December 2018, calling on the government and the Tatmadaw (the Military) to declare the nationwide ceasefire in order to end all armed conflicts in the country and find a solution through political dialogue, to promote all-inclusiveness in the peace process based on mutual recognition and equality.

In September 2021, the KNPP/KA cooperated in the Central Command and Coordination Committee (C3C) formed with the Ministry of Defense and the Home Affairs Ministry under the National Unity Government (NUG) and four allied Ethnic Revolutionary Organizations (EROs). Together with the Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army (KNU/KNLA) and the NUG, it formed the Joint Coordination Committee (J2C) and Joint Operation Command (JOC) in Karen (Kayin) State, Karenni (Kayah) State, Mon State, Tanintharyi Region, Ayeyarwady Region, Yangon Region and Bago Region and the southern military region which covers the central Myanmar areas such as Nay Pyi Taw. It is cooperating with member organizations and the persons who are mainly responsible for political and military affairs. Political and military strategies and policies are coordinated and adopted by the J2C while the joint ground military commands and military operations are carried out by the JOC. 78

It is cooperating with the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) through the Karenni State Consultative Council (KSCC). KNPP Chair Khu Oo Reh himself serves as the chair of the Karenni State Interim Executive Council (IEC) organized according to the KSCC’s interim plan. The KNPP/KA is leading and guiding the armed forces that are waging a war of resistance against the military council. In administrative matters, it is cooperating with women’s organizations, youth organizations and political groups.

Total number of battles with the military council troops One in 2020, eight in 2021, four in 2022 and 21 till March 2023. According to news reports, there were very few fighting between the KNPP/KA and the military council. It is leading and supervising the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF).

 

Ceasefire and Peace Process
Peace Negotiations
– 10th EAO to sign a ceasefire with the government
Step 1 – State-level ceasefire agreement (March 7, 2012)
Step 2 – Union-level ceasefire agreement (June 9, 2012)
Official Representative Team – rotating

Military leaders
Commander-in-Chief – General Bee Htoo
Deputy Commander-in-Chief – Major General Aung Myat
Adjutant-General: Colonel Phone Naing


Liaison Offices
1. Loikaw (opened 25/07/2012)
2.Shadow (opened 01/08/2012)

Alliances
UNFC, NCCT, SD and DPN member

Contact
Website: https://www.knpphq.org/
Email: [email protected]


Meetings

 #  Date  Location  Armed Group Rep  Govt Rep  Details
1 19/11/2011 Chiang Rai, Thailand Gen. Bee Htoo, Khu Hte Bu Aung Min An informal preliminary meeting.for arrangements to meet again in Kayah state capital Loikaw for further discussions. Mediators: Nay Win Maung, Dr Kyaw Yin Hlaing, Tin Maung Than, Harn Yawngwe
2 01/12/2011 Chiang Mai Khu Oo Reh Aung Min Preliminary peace agreements discussed.
3 01/02/2012 Chiang Mai, Thailand KNPP Aung Min These included allowing the KNPP to open liaison offices, giving the group free movement in Myanmar, and rehabilitating internally displaced persons in Karenni State.
4 07/03/2012 Loikaw, Kayah Khu Oo Reh Aung Min State-level 3 point ceasefire signed

KNPP participants: Commander-in-Chief Bee Htoo, Colonel Phone Naing; 7 Buddhist monks and 7 Christian priests.

International mediators: U.S. attaché Andrew Webster, Second Secretary of the British Embassy Joe Fisher and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees representative Hans Ten Feld.

5 21/04/2012 Mae Hong Son, Thailand Vice-chairman Abel Twee, Khu Oo Reh Aung Min Preparatory meeting for Union level talks
6 09/06/2012 Loikaw city, Kayah Khu Oo Reh Aung Min Union level 14 point ceasefire

Unable to come to an agreement on military affairs KNPP participants: Commander-in-Chief Bee Htoo, Colonel Phone Naing and U Aung San Myint.

Government participants: Aung Min (railway minister), U Than Htay (energy minister), U Khin Maung Soe (electricity minister), U Tun Tun Oo (union level deputy chief of lawyer), Gen. Zaw Win (border affairs development), U Khin Maung Oo (prime minister of Kayah state), Brg. Gen. Soe Htut (Shan east command), Bri. Gen. Win Myint (regional military command – Loikaw), Lt. Col. Win Tun Lin (G1 -military)

7 10/11/2012 Chiang Mai, Thailand Abel Twe Aung Min Union level
Informal discussions in preparation for upcoming meeting. KNPP participants: General Secretary Khu Oo Reh, Second Secretary U Aung San Myint, Commander-in-Chief Gen. Bee Htoo Mediators (govt affiliated): Hla Maung Shwe, Nyo Ohn Myint
8 19-20/06/2013 Loi Kaw Khu Oo Reh Aung Min, Than Htay, Lt.Col Aung Than Tun, Soe Htut, Khin Maung Soe, Win Tun, Tun Tun Oo, Khin Maung Oo Union Level 8 points agreement:

  1. To hold all inclusive ethnic conference,
  2. To discuss military affairs,
  3. Agreed to form a Joint-monitoring Committee in principle,
  4. All development project must be transparent,
  5. Agree for Demining,
  6. Resettlement for refugees,
  7. To form technical team,
  8. Local Govt and KNPP will cooperate for development in Kayah state
9 16/08/2013 MPC in Ygn KNPP secretary 2 Shwe Myo Thant Hla Maung Shwe from MPC It’s an informal meeting between KNPP and MPC. KNPP and MPC held an informal meeting at Myanmar Peace Center in Yangon. Shwe Myo Thant (KNPP secretary 2) transferred the name list of KNPP technical team.
10 22-23/10/2013 Loi Kaw KNPP UPWC for the third time with KNPP and Govt as Union level

  1. to safeguard the Mae Sae border gate between thailand and myanmar,
  2. to resettle the refugee
  3. for demining
  4. Govt to assist the food-shelter -clothings for the KNPP soldiers.
  5. to provide the regionwide electricity in 2014.
  6. Joint monitoring committee with 5 from KNPP and 5 from Govt.
  7. Nationwide ceasefire
11 14/11/2013 Loikaw KNPP Kayah Minister (State level)
KNPP 9 representatives meet with state minsiter and government. no outcome resulted.

Developments

Agreed points:

State level
1) Cease-fire
2) Open liaison offices
3) To officially form the representative teams leading up to Union-Level peace talks, coordinate date, time and place for meetings

Union Level:

  1. To discuss the demarcation of controlled territories, define military camp locations and movement
  2. To hold talks with all ethnic ceasefire groups, organisations and political parties
  3. Formation of a local monitoring group made up of approved members representing both sides
  4. Formation of observer group made up of approved members representing both sides
  5. Agree to stop fighting in all areas of Kayah state
  6. Cooperate with INGOs and NGOs on health, education and social development, communicate with the Kayah state government
  7. Kayah state government will form an observer group to survey public opinion about construction of a govt military training school
  8. Release all KNPP members and affiliates
  9. KNPP will cooperate with the government’s Human Rights Commission, both sides agree to form a locally based human rights monitoring group
  10. Cooperate with State and Union government to eradicate drug production and implement drug rehabilitation
  11. Both sides will discuss the systematic resettlement of IDPs; the government will assist in the resettlement of KNPP families providing support for business ventures

In March, 2012 the KNPP submitted a 20 point position paper for consideration from the Union government’s. They agreed in principle to 14 of these points in May; the remaining contentious issues related to demarcation and separation of troops, and large scale development projects. A KNPP statement that said the political party would focus on improving living standards for its constituents as opposed to business opportunities was well received.

Ongoing issues:

  1. Salween Dam (Ywa Thit hydro-electric dam)
  2. Withdrawal of government’s forces from Kayah state
  3. KNPP demands to transform a military training center into a social center
  4. CBOs will form an observer group for careful monitoring of large development projects in the state

Ongoing clashes

June 27, 2012: Fighting broke out between government troops and the KNPP near Mawchi area, highlighting the need for both parties to focus on resolving military conflicts in upcoming peace talks. http://www.bnionline.net/index.php/news/kantarawaddy/13840-karenni-peace-talks-must-include-two-key-points-to-preserve-ceasefire.html

Fourteen Myanmar army battalions are permanently based in Kayah State. In addition. there are 6 roving battalions from neighbouring Shan state, plus 1 special battalion that provides security for Ywa-thit dam. With the cessation of hostilities, government soldiers are frequenting villages near their bases much more. Security regulations previously required off-duty soldiers to remain in the barracks between 4 – 9 am, but many communities have reported soldiers are now staying in villages well into the night. This interaction might help build trust, but the increased troop presence is also increasing anxieties. (TBC 2012)


Statements

Nov 17, 2020 – KNPP released a statement regarding travel restriction

Sept 03, 2020 – KNPP released a statement regarding Covid 19

Mar 27, 2020 – KNPP appeal to Myanmar government, Tatmadaw, and all relevent Ethnic Armed Resistance Organizations (Bur)

Mar 27, 2020 – KNPP appeal to Myanmar government, Tatmadaw, and all relevent Ethnic Armed Resistance Organizations (Eng)

Nov 30, 2019 – KNPP released a statement regarding six Karen Youth’s trial

July 01, 2019 – KNPP released a statement regarding cancelation of literature discussion event

Dec 24, 2018 – KNPP released a statement regarding Office of the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services

Aug 08, 2015 – UNFC released  a statement on bi-annual meeting of KNPP (Bur)

Aug 08, 2015 – UNFC released  a statement on bi-annual meeting of KNPP (Eng)

Mar 03, 2015 – KNPP released a statement after holding the 12th party congress (Eng)

Mar 03, 2015 – KNPP released a statement after holding the 12th party congress (Bur)

Jan 12, 2015 – KNPP sent a letter against the heavy weapon shooting training near Dawtama Gyi village

Oct 23, 2013 – 7 points agreement between KNPP and UPWC

Aug 08, 2013 – KNPP leader U Yee Mahn Htoo interview by KT times

Mar 3, 2012 – KNPP Statement-on Ceasefire Talks

Jun 1, 2012 – KNPP stated that the “peace roadmap” put forward by Naypyidaw won’t be successful on its own. Only an alliance based on the policies of the United Nationalities Federal Council can ensure that the ceasefire will endure.

Jul 31, 2011 – KNPP demanded that the govt hold dialogue for national reconciliation, resolving the conflict and a ceasefire with all ethnic armed groups.


Partnerships

KNPP, KNLP, KNPLF (cooperation on health programs)

Leaders of 88-Generation Student Group and KNPP will cooperate to create a genuine Union’ in which all ethnic nationalities will have the power to create their own destinies. A 88-Generation delegation led by student leader Mya Aye met with a KNPP delegation at the KNPP liaison office in Loikaw, Kayah state to discuss the current political climate in Myanmar (11/9/12). A six-point joint statement was issued that called for genuine peace talks and urged the government to stop all fighting in Kachin state as soon as possible. The two groups will cooperate with all the groups that support democracy.

Derek Mitchell, US ambassador to Myanmar, and Jerry White, deputy assistant secretary for Partnerships and Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations met with a KNPP delegation in Loikaw to discuss the development of the peace process between the government and KNPP. The ambassador said the US will provide humanitarian assistance. They also discussed removing landmines in the state. (26/10/2012)


Business concessions:

Since September, 2012 KNPP started the Kayah Htarnay (Kayah Land) company (lead exploration) and Tamaw Htar (import/export of teak wood).


Reference: Deciphering Myanmar’s Peace Process – A Reference Guide (2022 – 2023)


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