To Fight Coronavirus Pandemic, KNU Calls For Peace Across Burma

By Network Media Group
Friday, March 27, 2020

To protect the country’s many displaced populations during the Covid-19 pandemic spreading in Burma, the Karen National Union (KNU) has asked the government and Burma Army to immediately end the offensives against the ethnic armed group organisations (EAOs).

“There are many IDPs (internally displaced persons) in Karen State and in northern Shan and Rakhine states,” said Padoh Saw Tar Doh Moo, the KNU general secretary. “The government and the Army should heed the UN secretary general’s advice and declare a nationwide ceasefire without restrictions.”

António Guterres, the UN secretary general, requested all sides to end the hostilities and focus all efforts towards combating the spread of the virus.

“It will be good for society if we stop the fighting and introduce preventative measures against the coronavirus pandemic,” Padoh Saw Tar Doh Moo told NMG.

If the conflicts stop, civil society groups will be able to access the IDPs across the country and help them during the pandemic. It could help promote reconciliation among the various stakeholders, Padoh Saw Tar Doh Moo said, and it will assist during Burma’s peace process.

The novel coronavirus has quickly spread around the world since first being discovered last December. In an effort to curb infection rates, the Burma government has cancelled Thingyan celebrations (Burma’s New Year) and many other events. EAOs are also taking steps to prevent the spread of the virus.

There are five confirmed Covid-19 cases in Burma. There are 273 patients under quarantine or being observed, according to information from MOHS on March 23.