Burma Campaign UK today joined the Karen Peace Support Network and the International Development Committee of the British Parliament in calling on the British government to review support for Burma’s peace process.
It is now almost eight years since the peace process began, yet in that time conflict and human rights violations which break international law have increased.
Burma has suffered from conflict for 70 years. Achieving peace in Burma is an absolute priority. So the international community, including the UK, were quick to pledge support when, in 2011, the military-backed government in power at the time pledged to begin a peace process.
Based on long experience, many representatives from ethnic communities targeted by the military were sceptical about their true intentions. Was it a ploy to access natural resources in ethnic states? Or going through the motions to get sanctions lifted, as peace had been set by some countries as a condition for lifting sanctions?
Nevertheless, many ethnic armed organisations and community groups decided to see if they could make it work.
The Karen Peace Support Network, a coalition of ethnic Karen community organisations, have stated that Burma’s peace process has reached a dead end. They fear the current peace process will end up prolonging conflict, rather than ending it.
The Burmese military are sabotaging the peace process at every stage, and have veto power over constitutional changes needed to secure a political settlement. But the British government and the rest of the international community are doing nothing to pressure the military to stop undermining the peace process.
“The situation in Burma has changed significantly since the start of the peace process and British policy must be based on the realities on the ground today, not the assumptions and hopes of yesterday,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “An independent review and evaluation of British support to the peace process is urgently needed.”
Burma Campaign UK is asking supporters to write to the British government calling on them to support a review. The action is on our website here.