Karenni National Progressive Party
Armed Wing: Karenni Army
KNPP’s armed wing the Karenni army has fought the Myanmar military for the self-determination of its people. Decades long war has resulted in thousands of civilians being displaced from their homes, many of whom have sought shelter in Thai refugee camps.
The Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP/KA) signed a ceasefire agreement with the military government in 1995, but fighting between the two sides resumed after three months and the ceasefire was broken. The KNPP joined the peace process with the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) and signed ceasefire agreements at the state and union levels under U Thein Sein administration in March and June 2012. However, the group refused to sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in 2015, maintaining the principle of inclusion of all ethnic armed groups.
However, on September 3rd, 2020, the KNPP announced that there had been talks between the KNPP and the government to participate in the peace process under the NCA, and to work with the Thai government, including the Myanmar government, on COVID-19 preventive measures.
In late 2018, the KNPP issued a statement calling on the Tatmadaw and the government to declare a nationwide ceasefire to find a political solution through talks and end internal armed conflict, establish inclusivity and mutual recognition in the peace process, and hold political dialogues based on equality.
Ceasefire & Peace Process
Preliminary Peace Talks 10th resistance group to sign ceasefire with the new government
Alliances: UNFC, NCCT, SD,
|#||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:
|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
|11||14/11/2013||Loikaw||KNPP||Kayah Minister||(State level)
KNPP 9 representatives meet with state minsiter and government. no outcome resulted.
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
- To discuss the demarcation of controlled territories, define military camp locations and movement
- To hold talks with all ethnic ceasefire groups, organisations and political parties
- Formation of a local monitoring group made up of approved members representing both sides
- Formation of observer group made up of approved members representing both sides
- Agree to stop fighting in all areas of Kayah state
- Cooperate with INGOs and NGOs on health, education and social development, communicate with the Kayah state government
- Kayah state government will form an observer group to survey public opinion about construction of a govt military training school
- Release all KNPP members and affiliates
- KNPP will cooperate with the government’s Human Rights Commission, both sides agree to form a locally based human rights monitoring group
- Cooperate with State and Union government to eradicate drug production and implement drug rehabilitation
- 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.
- Salween Dam (Ywa Thit hydro-electric dam)
- Withdrawal of government’s forces from Kayah state
- KNPP demands to transform a military training center into a social center
- CBOs will form an observer group for careful monitoring of large development projects in the state
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)
Nov 17, 2020 – KNPP released a statement regarding travel restriction
Sept 03, 2020 – KNPP released a statement regarding Covid 19
Nov 30, 2019 – KNPP released a statement regarding six Karen Youth’s trial
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)
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.
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)
Since September, 2012 KNPP started the Kayah Htarnay (Kayah Land) company (lead exploration) and Tamaw Htar (import/export of teak wood).
** Updated on Jan 30, 2021