The Tatmadaw has agreed to call off a road development project in Bago Region after local residents and the Karen National Union (KNU) voiced objections, and the Joint Monitoring Committee intervened. The intended road was to bisect territory controlled by the KNU’s brigade 3 in Mone town, Kyaukkyi township.
Villagers were informed of the road construction plan earlier this month and on February 17 were instructed by the KNU not to travel through the forest area, but to continue to use normal routes for travel.
Residents submitted a petition to the state-level Joint Monitoring Committee on February 18, and talks between the ethnic armed group and the Tatmadaw ensued.
“Due to a grassroots-level negotiation led by the JMC-S [Joint Monitoring Committee-State], the project was called off. According to the JMC-S, further talks over this matter will be held at their monthly meeting. Now, the situation is quite calm,” said Saw Netar Linn, a resident from Kyaukkyi township.
Saw Linn Aung, a civilian member of the JMC-S, said that a public statement announcing the termination of the road construction would be released “soon”.
“I have been in contact with the officials from [the KNU’s] brigade 3. The road construction work has been discontinued. There are no more machines in the area,” he said. “As it’s not a big problem, we, the JMC-S members, do not feel there is any need to call an emergency meeting. We will talk about the matter at our monthly meeting.”
Translated by Aong Jaeneh
Edited by Liagnee Barron