EBO Background Paper – Conflict over Taxation in Karen State

On 2 July 2015, fighting broke out in Kayin State along a newly constructed area of the Asia Highway that links Pang Kan village with Myanmar’s Kawkareik Township.

The fighting between the Myanmar Army and the Kloh Htoo Wah Tactical Unit of the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA), also known as the Klo Htoo Baw Kayin Organisation (KKO), not only highlights the continued taxation of the local population by the myriad small KNU splinter factions in Kayin State, but also the problems affecting the Karen National Union should a ceasefire occur.

Initial fighting, between Myanmar Army Infantry Battalion 231 under Military Operation Command 12 and soldiers from the DKBA Klo Htoo Wah Tactical Unit under the command of Brigadier General Kyaw Thet, resulted in at least two Myanmar soldiers killed and one injured while three members of the Klo Htoo Wah Tactical Unit were also reported wounded. [Download]

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