Myanmar rebel group suspends key leader in massacre investigation – News Vibe24

    Myanmar rebel group suspends key leader in massacre investigation - Times of India
    BANGKOK: A prominent ethnic rebel group in Myanmar suspended one of its key leaders this week, a spokesman said Saturday as it investigated an alleged massacre of civilians in its territory.
    Myanmar is in turmoil since the February coup ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, sparking massive civilian protests and renewed clashes between military and national guerrilla forces in its border areas.
    The Karen National Union (KNU), one of Myanmar’s largest rebel groups in the east, which has been negotiating with the military for decades, is locked in a new clash with the military after the coup.
    In May, state media blamed fighters from one of the group’s armed wings, the Karen National Defense Organization (KNDO), for the May 31 massacre of 25 construction workers, a claim KNU said it would investigate.
    Padoh spokesman Saw Taw Nee confirmed on Saturday that KNDO chief General Ner Dah Bo Mya and his current lieutenant Saw Ba Wah had been “temporarily suspended”.
    “According to the Geneva Conventions, even if they are our enemies, we arrest them, you can not kill like that,” he said.
    “We stand firm in our commitment to the Geneva Conventions and to the international community, and we must address that carefully.”
    The decision by KNU leaders on Monday is likely to provoke controversy within the rebel group, whose political divisions over the junta’s handling have spread to the public in recent months.
    However, Padoh Saw Taw Nee defended the suspension as “part of our process”.
    General Ner Dah Bo Mya could not be reached for comment.
    Myanmar’s border areas are a patchwork of territories and alliances held by more than a dozen rebel groups, most of which have fought with the military for more autonomy and resources.
    Following the coup, the KNU sporadically clashed with the Myanmar army on the Thai border.
    In March, his fighters took up military positions and the army responded with airstrikes, the first in more than 20 years in Karen State.
    The group has also condemned the military for seizing power, and provided shelter to dissidents working to oust the State Council, as the junta was named.
    Nearly 890 people have been killed by junta security forces since February 1, according to a local monitoring team.

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