Army ready to clear Kayin land mines

Zarli Myint Oo & Chan Wai Soe

The army will lead mine clearance operations in ethnic-minority areas if they have agreement from armed groups, with work set to start in Kayin State, said Colonel Wanna Aung, secretary of the union-level Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) after a meeting at the National Restoration and Peace Centre on May 4.

The army expressed an aim to start mine clearance work and the Karen National Union in Kayin State would discuss it, said the colonel. Migration was also discussed, he added. 

"Mine clearance issue is stated in the 2015 nationwide ceasefire agreement. Operations will start in Kayin State. The army will lead the operations in cooperated with the armed groups. The army will accept technical aid from overseas. We have discussed how to station both sides Mr so they do not encounter each other. State-level JMCs will also hold discussions and submit their recommendations up to union level.

“The ethnic armed groups will discuss mine clearance operation themselves. We will carry out it after we receive a reply from them,” he said.

Representatives from the army and armed groups went to Thailand and Cambodia earlier this year to observe mine clearance operations arranged by Norway.